Tecla's Tale of a Race with Difficult Winds

17 May 2010

Tecla's Tale of a Race with Difficult Winds
The Dutch vessel Tecla has sent in a summary of how the first part of the race has been for them since leaving Volos:

"The start was delayed three times. Once we did start there was a nice breeze to begin with but it did not stay for long. The first night was more or less totally without wind. Also, as the wind came from all directions, many of the boats stayed close to each other. Just a few took the nice breeze to disappear over the horizon. 

"No wind means it is very hard work for a crew because in order to try and find a breeze, you tack and gyp, close to the wind.... with the wind, the current takes the ship for a dance and before you know it, she makes a circle. Then there is a little breeze, the speed goes up, you are happy to see 3.5 knots on the GPS, then it drops again and the frustration attacks you! Will we ever be able to sail these (only) 150 miles in three days? 

"And then, when the first ships announced their finishing time, there was a breeze that stayed and grew to a real wind, force 5 to 6. We lowered the top-sails, the big jib stayed on as it is too good a puller to lower, even though it is a little bit too much. We started leaving ships behind us and over take others. We were sailing again, everybody on board was enthusiastic, most skipping their six hours of sleep. With only five trainees onboard and three crew, we were tired, but every body was in the winning mood again.  Speed 8.9 knots, we could smell the finishing line. At 23 56 51 UTC we finished, just before the wind dropped again. We lowered the jib and set the smaller one, and then the wind picked up again and turned against us. The weather forecast says gales are on their way! 

"We entered the Marmara Sea but with a head wind we decided to drop anchor, have a beer or wine and enjoy a good sleep and a late breakfast. The wind is SW 7, the sun is shining, and race control has given out the race results. We are number one in our class, we are happy!"

Once the fleet is underway on the second leg of this first race to Varna, a daily position report will be published on the website fleet tracking each morning.

To track the fleet as they race click here

To view the current placings of the race click here

The Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.

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