B 1-2 (Leg 1) – Start / And he’s off!

(628 miles to go)

This week has been somewhat of an exercise in extreme patience – which is a commodity neither one of us possess that much of.  I think we used it all up by the time 11am came around (after a really trying week with the typical boat headaches, too much driving, and the million other things going on in our lives), but that was all that was needed, since Justin made it to the start, and actually got off well.

Below are some pictures getting ready, leaving the dock, just after the start, and from Castle Hill, as he was heading out into the Atlantic (I took video, too, but it didn’t come out as well as I hoped).

The breeze was really nice at the start – probably 15+ knots from the SW, and everyone took off on a fast reach.  For Shearwater, this point of sail is pretty much nirvana; for Spadefoot, it’s not quite that.  Expecting this, Justin had (legally) stored water on the starboard side and (legally) started a bit heeled to starboard, expecting that he’d want some weight on the rail as he headed out in fresh breeze on a reach.  The expectation is that a front will come through, and the breeze will clock to the NW, allowing the boats to run a bit more.  That would be a much more favorable point of sail for Spadefoot.  Justin’s class is comprised of effectively 9 boats (10 in the race, but one is racing double-handed both ways).  Of the fleet, most are displacement hulls that will waterline Spadefoot in reaching conditions…but in good running conditions, Spadefoot and the Olson 30, Concussion, would be more competitive.

The race tracker is updating on the hour.  Justin’s doing fine for now, staying close to the fleet, hopefully getting some rest in, and his position is following his plan for the first day.

Over the next 12 hours, it will be interesting to compare boat speeds – if the breeze clocks, his boat speed should increase if he’s able to start planing, compared to the displacement/light displacement boats. If the weather does what is forecast, it could be more favorable than I think he expected (so fingers crossed).  Of course, in all of the offshore passages we’ve done, the forecasts have not exactly been spot on – so we’ll see what happens.

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