Burgess drops out of Europe 1 New Man Star

June 7 - Europe 1 New Man Star

Bruce Burgess of the Honolulu-based Open 60 Hawaii Express - and the only West Coast entry in the singlehanded transatlantic - has dropped out for unspecified reasons.

But the action continues as the multihull and monohull fleets are experiencing more challenging weather and the debilitating effects of fatigue. Alex Thomson, leading Class 2 of the monohulls with 'sailthatdream.com', explains: "About 3:00 AM on Monday the wind shifted sharply and I tacked. I headed west and eased the sheets a little. Bang - down came the staysail. On inspection the head ring that attaches to the halyard was gone as was the webbing that attached it to the sail. I was reluctant to unfurl the genoa as I was sure it would be reduced to tatters. I was heart broken. Without the staysail I would not be competitive and I couldn't even hoist the storm staysail as the halyard was up the mast. I climbed the mast using my step-ladder made of webbing and was about 17 meters up in 30 knots and a huge sea - just too unstable. After three hours the wind seemed to have died. I say 'seemed to have died' as both my anemometers were now upside down, still attached, just pointing the wrong way! I decided to risk a little headsail and got the boat sailing as best I could and passed out on the cockpit floor for what seemed like hours. When I woke up 45 minutes later, the wind had dropped further, so I unrolled all the headsail and kept two reefs in the main sail. At least we were going well again.

"I went below and shoved as much chocolate, sugar, etc., down my throat, strapped on my climbing harness and two one-way cleat things. I then attached them to the gennaker halyard that I had winched really tight and started to climb inch by inch. Although it was harder the higher I got because of the increased motion aloft, it was made a little easier in that I could see the waves that were trying to rip me from the mast. It took me about half an hour to get to the top spreader. I felt on top of the world and then I realized that I was 18 meters in the air and how was I going to get down! Talk about crashing to reality. I was shattered, all I could do was to unclip the jammy things, clip on a carabina and let go! I tried to slow myself by gripping hard with my hands, but it didn't make much difference, apart from my hands getting very hot!

"I was there, bottom of the mast with the halyard - I did it! What a stupid idiot! The next job was to sew the head back on. I knew I didn't have much time before the wind increased and I needed the sail again. I cut one of the lazy jacks and started sewing. A large needle, some whipping twine and the gentle persuader, my hammer. Each stitch took ten minutes and God knows how many swear words! I finished stitching at 2230, ate, tidied and kipped at 0100. Awake at 0130 to hoist the staysail and there it is still. A wreck I most certainly would be if she came down again!

"So why am I doing this?"

More at the great website at: http://www.europe1newmanstar.com/uk/.

Alex Thomson in 'sailthatdream.com' is leading Class 2 Monohull.
Gilles Martin-Raget Photo www.martin-raget.com.


Race Around Isle of Wight to Start Saturday

June 7 - Hoya Round The Island Race

The 64th running of the 50-mile Hoya Around the Isle of Wight Race starts on June 10 and will feature approximately 12,000 competitors aboard 1,587 yachts of all shapes and sizes.

The favorite for line honors will be Steve Fossett's maxi catamaran Playstation, the holder of the fastest 24-hour run in history. Fossett already holds the course record of 3 hours and 35 minutes set in 1994 with his trimaran Lakota. The record for the Hoya Race itself, however, is held by the trimaran Paragon. The start is off Cowes.

In another other major event featuring multihulls, between 15 and 20 multihulls - mostly catamarans - are expected for the June 10-11 First Annual Catnip Cup from the Golden Gate Bridge to Vallejo. The host Vallejo Marina has bought a red carpet they will literally roll out for the fleet.

Profligate to lead the Catnip Cup fleet.

'Club Med' Starts Across the Atlantic

June 7 - Club Med

Despite being launched less than a month ago, Grant Dalton's maxi catamaran Club Med has left Cadiz, Spain, on a transa tlantic record attempt. The initial weather conditions looked good for a fast start.

For details see www.clubmed.com
Club Med/G. Plisson Photo

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