Royal Ocean Racing Club, London, England – August 16, 2001 – We [Ashley Perrin and Fastwave II] finished at 14:26:03 third in class, 11th overall, 0.7% off first and just under four days – which was the quickest anyone on the boat had done the course. It was an interesting race where the rich got richer. The beat up to the Lizard was very important – if you came out of that in front there was little or no beating on the leg from the Lizard up to the rock. Downwind from the rock we caught up Courier Nord (although initially we thought it was not going to be a leg with any passing lanes) by an hour elapsed. However, the Swan with a large masthead kite also caught us by an hour. Placing where we did means that we have now won the RORC Offshore Season Championships and therefore do not have to go offshore for the rest of the year. Overall a successful race, but next time I will do it double handed or on a maxi – I’ve paid my dues!’
DAY THREE Royal Ocean Racing Club, London, England – August 15, 2001 – It is 10:50 GMT and ahead is the loom of Bishop’s Rock Lighthouse; it is a clear relatively warm fourth night at sea. We [Ashley Perrin and Fastwave II] rounded the Fastnet last night at 1:34 a.m. – I was in my bunk at that point for three hours off watch. From the Lizard till about 30 miles from the Rock we reached with a heavy one, and five kittiwakes swooped around our stern light making a very pretty sight. However, we then crossed the cold front which brought little wind, lots of rain which chilled us to the bone, and 100 degree wind shift making the last 30 miles a light air beat. We sat on the side of the boat like miserable pigeons as one of the crew suggested – all hunkered down talking about places we would rather be and planning holidays in warmer places. The sunset was beautiful – pretty surprising as the sun wasn’t seen all day!! The boats around us at this point all owe us 25 minutes per day, so it looks like we are in for 2nd place unless things change dramatically. Unfortunately barring an act of nature first place is unlikely – we lost it when the cold front came through leaving us beating last night. We hoisted the 0.5 oz. kite after rounding the spacer mark seven miles from the rock – it was added in 1997 for safety – stopping people from hitting each other’s boats in the night as they head to and from the mark. Around midday we had eight or so porpoises join us for 20 minutes playing around the bow. It has been a dead run for the Lizard which is unusual – normally a jib reach – and we peeled to a 0.75 oz. kite this afternoon. We have just been joined by the fourth lot of porpoises this trip – they look like express trains in the night as they are lit up with phosphorescence – very beautiful and elegant creatures. Tonight the sky is lit up with satellites and shooting stars – as Cam Geer (from San Francisco) mentioned, this is why we sail at night. We should arrive in Plymouth sometime around midday on Thursday. Check out the Royal Ocean Racing Club website at www.rorc.org for our finishing position and time.
DAY TWO Royal Ocean Racing Club, London, England – August 13, 2001
- At this point I [Ashley Perrin] miss the warmth and fresh water of the Great Lakes! The Rolex Fastnet 2001 race started yesterday at 4:40 p.m. with winds gusting 35 knots and confused seas in the Solent. The waves increased to 10 feet in the Needles Channel. We started on the line with a four and full main and beat out of the SolentÂ¯pretty miserable on the foredeck. The V60s – Tyco, the two Assa Abloy boats, SEB and Illbruck – powered through the fleet with full water ballast. Watching the 70-footers pass, I promised that if I ever did my 5th time round the Fastnet it would be on a boat no shorter than 60 feet. Since this morning the wind has dropped to around 15 knots – still on the nose though. We will pass Lands End in an hour or so and expect to be at the rock early Wednesday morning. Have managed to dry off a little today – got wet changing last night from the 4 to 3 – ended up almost needing a snorkel! The life of a foredeck – shouldnÂ’t complain as it is part of the job description. We should be able to crack off at LandÂ’s End to a fetch along the rhumb line at which point it is 170 miles or so.