The Race to Genoa continues...

02 April 2010

The Race to Genoa continues...
The two Dutch vessels Astrid and Tecla are continuing their race as they head towards Genoa for the start of the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta. 

This morning Astrid reported that after a good day of sailing, during which Tecla had overtaken them, they had gone into the night with all sails on. "At sundown we had a great sight of a whale and all was well, but then just after midnight, as if an April fool's joke, the wind turned 180 degrees in a matter of minutes. You can imagine that it might take quite some effort to adjust all the sails to such a wind change. It was a night with little rest for the crew," reported Willem van der Wel from on board Astrid.

Come morning they had sight of Tecla again but around 0800 they were forced to start their engines to cope with the head winds that confronted them. "The Mediterranean seems to have many surprises, from whales to its infamous wind changes," commented Willem.

Meanwhile the new sails have been performing well on Tecla. Jeannette Sluik reports that their first 24 hours with the new sails have been hard work. "Sails, good sails, have a body and a soul, so when you put them up you have to get to know them. It's like you are a stranger on your own sailing boat. We had a lot of trimming to do at sea and as there are only the three of us, we are all now in some pain! However, we think the sails are a real success as with just a breath of air, Tecla went through the water like a youngster!  Our new jib, more the old version cut (lower to the jib boom), is a real puller and a beauty. The main sail gave us the most trouble, but it looks like we will be best mates soon."

Jeannette continues that the first hours after their departure from Benicarlo, they enjoyed some wonderful sailing moments with beautiful weather, sun, fish, dolphins, whales, and Astrid, who had been their neighbour in Benicarlo for a month for companion. "The wind on the Mediterranean is not the easy steady wind that sailors like a lot. The speed of the wind, and also the direction, is far from steady. We had to job and tack all night until the wind died out and we had to start the engine. Today, the wind is southwesterly Force 2/3, speed about 5 to 6 knots. It is a little bit cloudy and the wind is fresh and the forecast says the wind will back to the south and strengthen, so we they are right and we can see what the sails can do with a bit more wind!"
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