Preparation for Trophée Marie-Agnes Peron

Nach 12 Stunden Autofahrt bin ich letzten Mittwoch abends wieder in Lorient angekommen. Am Donnerstag wurde dann direkt das neue Vorsegel von Incidences (leider geil!) ausprobiert.
Freitag mussten noch tausend Dinge an Bord erledigt werden aber dabei habe ich Alan kennengelernt und wir beschlossen am Samstag gemeinsam unsere Minis nach Douarnenez zu überführen. Am Samstag ging es bei 20-25 Knoten Wind am Wind gen Westen und es rollte eine alte recht steile Dünung aus dem Atlantik herein. Dabei fiel mir auf dass mein Mast extrem instabil war und ich kaum Vorstagspannung hatte, ich konnte den Mast zwar stabilisieren aber an weitere 80sm am Wind war nicht zu denken. Also umgedreht und in Lorient das Rigg neu getrimmt, da tauchte auch Alan wieder auf, er hatte bei den Bedingungen auch keine Lust gehabt alleine weiter zu segeln.

Am Sonntag dann der zweite Anlauf, diesmal nach einer kurzen Kreuz raus aus Lorient und einem kurzen motoren in Flaute dann traumhafte Downwind/Reaching-Bedingungen bei denen wir mit 8-10 Knoten Richtung Ziel knallten.
Pointe du Raz konnten wir gerade noch bei Stauwasser (und riesiger Dünung) runden, dann ging es noch einmal gute 20sm am Wind bei 20-25 Knoten Wind in Richtung Douarnenez.

Die letzten drei Tage vergingen wie im Flug mit Vorbereitungen am Boot, einer kleinen Segelreparatur, etc. Mein Sicherheitscheck war gestern und ich habe nun die Starterlaubnis.
Heute steht eigentlich nur noch die Navigationsvorbereitung auf dem Programm, dann relaxen.
Start ist morgen um 12 h, die Positionen kann man hier verfolgen.

After arriving in Lorient in Douarnenez last Wednesday night I went for a quick sail with my new (awesome!) jib from Incidences on Thursday.
Friday was busy with getting stuff done on the boat but it turned out that Alan would join me for the delivery to Douarnenez on saturday. We set off at 9am on Saturday and were beating upwind in 20-25 knots when I noticed that my rigg was becoming more and more unstable and all wiggly. It seemed like the forestay had loosened so I stabilized it with the Spi halyard and was fine for the moment but there was no way I could beat another 80 or so miles in that state.

So I turned back to Lorient only to find Alan join me back in Lorient a couple of hours later.
We checked the weather and set off for our second attempt on Sunday morning at 9am and after a short tack out to Ile de Groix we had nice downwind / reaching conditions and were nicely blasting north with 8-10 knots of boatspeed.

We managed to round Pointe du Raz in slackwater with a huge swell dead downwind at sunset, then we had to turn upwind and sailed the last 20 or so miles with between 16 and 22 knots windspeed upwind to Douarnenez. It took us 16 hours to do the ~100nm from Lorient, quite nice.

The last three days were busy with getting the final bits and pieces together, having a minor sail repair organized and getting the boat ready in racing condition. My security check was yesterday afternoon and after some modifications I have now passed. Today is dedicated to finishing the navigation prep and then relax a little.
Start is tomorrow at 12, you can follow the fleet here.

adjustable waterstay

Ever since last season I was playing with the thought of an adjustable waterstay. Especially when it comes to close reaching I would like to be able to pull the bowsprit further down while when running downwind with a lot of swell it doesn’t hurt to raise it a bit so it doesn’t stick into the back of the next wave.

So yesterday night I finally got around to splice the bits together.
I will use a 4:1 pulley, 3 parts at the bow, the 4th is on deck (not visible on the photos).
The black lines are 8mm Dyneema, the yellow one is 6mm with Kohlhoff Loop Thimbles spliced in.

Now I can pull the bowsprit down at least 20cm and raise it another 15cm at least. I selected the lengths in a way that in case the clam or control line would break, the sprit can only raise 15cm max so its rear does not punch a hole into the deck of the bow.

start of the season

Long time no update here although I had promised some news about moving the boat to Lorient.

So let’s start at the beginning, my original plans were to bring the boat to Lorient early February to be able to participate in Charles Euverte’s training group in Pornichet but unhappily that plan had to be abandoned due to business trips and interesting assignments in my job.
The plan was changed to get the boat to Lorient early March and to do some training by myself in the first two weeks of April. Unhappily the french authorities had still not approved my “transport exceptionnel” and this time I wanted to have all the right papers in place before doing the trip (unlike in 2008…).

In the end me and my girlfriend decided to tow the boat to Lorient when going to France for our vacation.

Going to France
On March 31st at 6am we left Bremen with the boat and started our journey towards France. We were surprised how well the new car handled the mass of the car (my A4 was struggling quite a bit back then) and made good progress, around lunchtime we crossed the border to Belgium and in the early afternoon we were already in France. We kept on going until the evening came and I got too tired to drive. We couldn’t find a hotel so we pulled onto a rest stop and decided to sleep in the boat – It had a nice 17°C so we should be good.
At 4 am I awoke, shivering from the cold wondering what was going on. So we got up and once back in the car noticed that the temperature had dropped to 2°C. We set off for Lorient once again and arrived around lunchtime at the Cité de la Voile where AOS (the training base) is located.

The next 4-5 days were a mix of vacation and trying to get things done from the seemingly endless ToDo-list.
Getting the boat ready took much longer than I anticipated and in the end it wasn’t before a week after arrival that we set sail for the first time for a quick run outside of Lorient towards the Île de Groix and back.

The Delivery
Soon the first two weeks had passed and it was time for my girlfriend to go back to Germany while I would stay another 1,5 weeks to participate in the Pornichet Select 6.50.
On Saturday the 14th me and Rafala ( had planned to deliver our boats to Pornichet so we set off around lunchtime. The plan was to sail north for a couple of hours until the wind would shift north-westerly, then we would turn south and have some running conditions until Pornichet.
About 2 hours after leaving Lorient – we were beating north – I noticed a strong stench of fuel in my boat and discovered that my generator had not been entirely shut off and fuel had drained through the exhaust. Since it was stacked high on windward, the fuel had spread everywhere. After about 10 minutes trying to clean up the mess it became obvious that without large amounts of fresh water I would not be able to get this done.
I decided to head back to Lorient to clean up and then possibly meet up with Rafaela once she would be passing Lorient on her way back south.

Back at the AOS pontoon I started emptying the boat, wiping everything with dishwasher-water and then giving the whole boat a good scrub with fresh water – not with much success. There was still a stench of fuel in the boat and I feared lighting my JetBoil to cook something.
Then the final hit came: while taking down the Solent (my small foresail =”foc”) I noticed that the sail had delaminated badly at the rear. The sail is a composite sail with resin keeping fibres in place – in an area the size of a football however there were only fibres left without any resin. Since the damage was above the reefing point the sail would not be safe to be used in strong winds any more.

With a heavy heart I then decided to abandon the plan to do the Pornichet Select 6.50 and go back to Germany early.

New plans
Towards the end of may I will return to Lorient for some days of training and then head off to Douarnenez for the Trophée Marie Agnes Peron, a 220nm solo race. Incidences is busy making me a new Solent and the smell in the boat should have been gone by now.
Can’t wait to get back to the boat, only about one week left.