This is my first post, please be nice!
I did some offshore racing
in NZ on a Farr 1020, (10.20 metres, 3700kg), and had some pretty hairy experiences in the Cook Str. Winds on one trip were 40-50kts against a strong current
, storm jib
, trysail, and 30-hrs of extreme discomfort, but we felt safe enough. It helped that the skipper had 40yrs of experience and kept remarking cheerfully about what a marvellous little boat it was. Farr Yacht Design
More recently, on a run from Taiwan
to Hong Kong
, winds were averaging 50kts and gusting over 60kts for about 24-hrs. We broke the boom on the first night and had to tidy up the mess in the dark, continuing under headsail only until dawn, then got the trysail up. The skipper pointed out that the nearest place to get the boom fixed was Hong Kong
. On the third day, we were so pleased to see the winds dropping to a mere 30-40kts that we put the spinnacker up again. We set a new ISAF record
for Taipei-HK, breaking the time set by Ellen Macarthur - in a Janneau Sun Odyssey 49.
Both trips were pretty scary, but after the first few hours you realise that the boat is not going to fall apart any time soon and start to relax. As time passes, and you start to get tired out by the weather
, the ability to prepare hot food
takes on an almost mystical significance. If your autohelm
can't cope, and you're in busy shipping
lanes anyway, you need to have an alert energetic person driving - food
and a place to rest in comfort are essential between watches.