Mutiny on the Lindy…

After hogging the helm for the past 4 days, the admiral was hauled before a kangaroo court (appropriately), and sentenced to be banished. Loaded into the ships dinghy, with nothing but a case of Shiraz for company, he was cast adrift, only to quickly row around the boat and jump back on board.
Crew are now on half rations.
Admiral back on the helm.

Tassie Cruise

After the excitement of the race, we’re now slowing things down by cruising the East coast of Tasmania. I say slowing, but with Donald on the helm reaching at up to 16 knots, it’s still a sporty ride. Donald is glued to the wheel, only taking a break for the evening meal and some sleep, and is having a ball. Remaining crew are reading up on “Mutiny on the Bounty” as we have both Joe and a dinghy aboard. Seems fitting really. Bought fresh fish of passing fishermen yesterday and had Flathead cervice for an appetizer last night, ahead of the duck. Today – Wineglass Bay. Just need to fix the head first – Joe thinks this was down to a sloppy repair post race.

The Race – report 2

With one minute to go to the start, Triple Lindy had lined up at the boat end, and started building speed to the line. We shut out boats attempting to squeeze their way in, and at the gun, we were front row in the fleet and off down the eastern channel, and past the Lindy supporters on “Majestic”, making a suitable amount of noise. Fourteen helicopters and small planes  circled overhead as we reached the first of two turning marks. A beat in light breeze out of the Heads, surrounded by spectator boats, and we reached the open sea. Up went the fractional zero, and then down it came as sheets were rerun (oops), then back up again and off we sped. Speed now in the high teens as the fleet stretched out – we were neck and neck with another Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino, for most of the afternoon and into the evening. We switched into the watch system at dusk – 3 on, 3 off, and either worked the boat, or tried to wedge into a spot somewhere below on the windward side to snatch a few minutes respite.

Through the night and next day we drove the boat on, or hung on, and were getting used to the boat motion, noise, and amount of water sweeping the decks. Snacks and water were snatched when we could – this was not the old boat where we’d gather for an evening meal in the cockpit. Sleep was proving to be difficult for many – but down below there was the opportunity to take off wet foulies and warm up. Before you knew it you were shaken awake for the next shift, climbed into wet gear and hopefully dry boots, added sunglasses or head torch depending on time of day/night, and finally into lifejacket. Emerging into the cockpit and clipping in you were faced with the boat hurtling along and most of the crew in the stern to help keep the bow up.

The second morning and we were approaching Tasman Island in a stiff northern wind. As we reached under the famous Organ Pipes (Australia’s largest cliffs), the wind eased. We switched sails to jibs and sailed into a calm area (the only one of the race). Five minutes later a Southerly breeze quickly filled in, and again we were off and running under spinnaker. A few gybes later we passed the “Iron Pot” – a light on a rock, and then were in the Derwent River. A few more gybes and we were approaching the finish, and fast running out of runway – the spinnaker came quickly down as we crossed the line, followed by grins all around.

The reception in Hobart is justly famous, and unlike the other big ocean races. The boat is announced to the crowds along the long dock, and as you motor slowly along the waterfront, the crowds erupt into cheers. For sailors it is quite bizarre to be cheered at the finish. As we entered the marina, our shore support team were there to welcome us with hugs and champagne.

So what to make of the race? We made errors in each of our roles as we learned the boat – Brad, Sammy and Giancarlo were patient teachers and helped us sort out issues. Racing on such a fast race boat was new to most of us – there was lots to get used to that will help greatly in the next race. We took way too much food – barely had opportunity to grab something, and meals were pretty much out of the question. Weight placement (on deck or down below sleeping) was critical. Sleeping feet first was necessary – as the boat drove into waves it would quickly slow by 10 knots or more. Driving required great concentration, but was exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. Going forward on deck often required crawling – and it felt pretty exposed. But – 25 knots of boat speed is highly addictive.

Our results were good, and we know we can improve as we dial in the performance of the boat, and get better at our jobs.

IRC Overall: 22nd  out of 81

IRC Division 1: 12th out of 24

2nd American Boat

2nd Cookson 50

The programme requires lots of input and effort from a large group of people, led by Joe. A big thanks to all for a successful and safe race across one of the most challenging bodies of water in the world.

The Race – report 1

This is report 1, as after some sleep, food, and beer at the legendary Customs House (forget the sleep – that’ll be later), I will be able to report the race with more clarity. Sorry for the lack of posting during the race, but this is a different beast, and there’s no time, let alone no way of sitting at a keyboard. The boat spent a lot of the trip in the high teens to mid-twenties in knots of speed – the race was over in 2 nights, not the usual 4. It was full on the whole way for all 14 crew – very wet; extremely noisy; and quite complex. The days practicing paid off – they reduced, but didn’t eliminate, mistakes – this was to be expected. The end of the race, reaching at 20 knots under the Organ Pipes, gybing up the river to Hobart, and the reception from the public at the dock – were memories that will last.

As no one came down the dock with a Rolex timepiece, it is assumed we didn’t win. Results should be clearer in the next 2 days as the other boats finished.

Report 2 in more detail tomorrow.



Final Preparations

Day after day the fourteen crew put in long hours on preparing the boat and themselves for the race. Equipment is unloaded for the training sail of the day, the job list is attacked, and whatever we break that day is fixed before the boat is put away for the evening. A quick shower then out to dinner, then it starts all over again. Friday had us finish at 2pm, then meet back at 4pm to head out for training in the dark. Back at the dock at 2am we put the boat to bed, and had a few hours before it started again.


The net result of this is that we are climbing the learning curve, learning from our mistakes, and coming together as a team.


Crew dinner last night was a good reward for the hard work, and now on Sunday (the eighth day of labour), we’re getting wear patches put on the mainsail – up the mast to measure where we need them, then get the sail off the boat to apply the material. The navigators will get a briefing, and we hopefully finish up before too late as the Lindy ladies have lined up Christmas dinner. Monday is our day off to relax and prepare for the ocean race.


We’ve seen the start list – we’re starting on the front line (there are three line as there are so many entrants), with the seriously big yachts; and we’re in class 1.


The yorkshire tea and hob-nobs will be loaded aboard today, along with other food, and we’ll be set… Just need to sail fast, go the right way, and not break too much.