I was tucked in on the quarter pipe cot (not comfortable but useful
place for my mass!) when I awoke to a big rush of water and screams of
joy on the deck as Andreas pushed the boat over 18 knots of boat
speed. This boat really likes the power reaching with its heavy chine
and its so beautifully setup for easy helming and trimming at speed.
Mark was the inaugural member of the 18 knot club but Andreas beat him
with 18.61. We must note though, Rob frequently comments that it's
the Average boat speed that is important, not the peaks (something
relating to his lovelife???)
So enthusiasm to get on deck to experience this was pumping. After a
quick serve of breakfast on we went. Aladin had us well organised for
grinding, trimming and keeping the boat speed up and we moved to 6 on
deck at a time to manage all the jobs. After a few hours I got my
hands on the wheel. This boat feels so light on the helm with it's
twin, large rudders and extremely controllable as the working crew are
right there on the quarter with you making communication really easy.
The raised primary winch was allowing Jens to utilise his months of
circuit training keeping the sheet on coming in on second gear.
After getting a little warmed up (especially those grinding), one of
those perfect waves came along and I pushed the bow down with a half
turn of the wheel and watched the boat accelerate. We wound on, push
the boat through the wave in front and surfed along it reaching a high
of 18.88 knots (on course too Rob!). Andreas moaned from his bunk but
we didn't care. That moment when James, Aladin, Scarlett, Alice, Jens
and I got this trip record won't be forgotten... its why we came all
the way out to the North Atlantic. For info: TWS22, AWA 90, Polar
105%! A5, J3 & full main.
There's another squad on deck now pushing to create the 19, or 20 knot
club.... not sure the record will last long! Griff is pushing as hard
a possible to get back on top holding 16knots on every wave and 13.5kt
average over the last 30 mins.
ETA is now Mid day 11th on the lastest forecast.... we might just make
it so Giles can do the St Malo race (with a fresh crew).
Chris Hanson on Pata Negra (grinning a lot today!)