bluQube Solo 1000 - Leg2 day2

Today, luckily has been rather uneventful in terms of drama, we ploughed
along a bright blue sea under a bright sunshine and pretty scattered
clouds, enjoying constant winds on the beam for some quite fast sailing.
In my first 24hours run i made good 155 miles but probably did 165-170
which is fast for me, very fast (i am sailing slightly to the west of
the straight line as part of my strategy... i'm hoping that by tomorrow
morning the fleet will be headed by strong winds and slow down while i'm
hoping to have reached the end of the continental shelf, be in deep

OSTAR Qualifier Blog1

The second leg of the bluQube solo 1000 has started just hours ago, at
11BST and we're sailing in fine conditions, a 10-12kt SW wind and
sunshine. What a change to last night when the wind was houling and we
woke up under pouring rain.
Looking at the GPS all looks rather daunting, Santander 490 miles to go!
Wow, looking on the bright side it means i have already covered 35
miles, which normally is a respectable weekend sail, something like
Cowes to Poole.
I have received the latest position poll, not all boats reports at the

Fleet ready for 2nd leg of bluQube solo 1000

Only two hours to the start of the second leg of the bluQube solo 1000. This leg is the hardest, 525 miles from Ireland to Santander in Spain across the bay of Biscay, it is also the most important to me as this leg is the official qualifier for Ostar 2009, my ultimate goal.

We had a nice and relaxing time in Kinsale although some of the skippers had to run around to sort out the last few remaining problems, get diesel and food. We woke up this morning in pouring raing, lets hope the clouds will drift away in time for the start, i really dont like the rain.

All ship shape on British Beagle

Hello everyone,

what a fantastic race so far, after the somehow frustrating beat to
land's end where the wind was just in between full mainsail and first
reef and saw me wasting time and energies taking and shaking reefs, 6 o
7 times it must have been. Once past land's end i cracked off just
enough to let the Beagle trot (she's a very clever dog) and that's where
this boat becomes paradise (yes you read right, on a beat). On windvane
she goes effortlessly at max speed and needs no attention at all, i
cooked my dinner, and did just about nothing. I wanted to sleep but i

Just hours to the start of the bluQube Solo 1000

Hi Everyone,

Here we are just hours before the start, everything has gone quiet in Mylor harbour, after dinner at the yacht club everyone was keen on charging the sleep battery bank ahead of the race tomorrow.

The start is at 9;30 and the forecast is for a west south west force 4 to 5 which will mean beating all the way to lands end and then hopefully lay the line to kinsale which is 185 miles away in this that is the first leg of the bluQube solo 1000, the 1000 miles solo race that will take us to ireland, spain and then france.

Mylor

Finally this morning at 6am i made it into Mylor, the sailing was bumpy and rather uncomfortable. After leaving Brixham at 11am yesterday soon after fixing my rigging problem the wind was quite pleasant and the going was good but after passing Start Point and Salcombe it really started to increase. I had wind up to 32 knots, which is a force 7 i guess, just as forecast.

Failed U toggle

Metal fatigue, or bad casting, caused this U toggle to fail. It was spotted in time and the mast was saved. I was not as lucky on a different occasion.

Blog3

Here we are sailing again, what a relief. The mistery U bolt failure that
had me seeking cover into Brixham in the middle of the night has now been
fixed. Funny how one minute you are out there and on the brink of dismasting
and the next you make a phone call, a rigger turns up to your boat and half
an hour later (and 100 or so pounds) later you're good to go again.
The wind is not blowing anyway near the forecast force 7 so for the time
being the plan is to press on towards Mylor. In a few hours I'll have the

U bolt failure

The greek, if i remember well from my school days, call it "moira zeon", a punishment inflicted by the gods to humans that committ the sin of "ubris" i.e. believing they can be happier and better than the gods. i must have had a lot of that in me today, sailing free towards the start of the race, windy but just so good.

Blog1

Here we are, some 20 miles south east of Portland bill, the tide has now
turned against me and the progress is slow, it will be another 4 hours
before it turns again and it pushes me in the right direction. Aboard
everything is fine, apart from the boat GPS that somehow has decided
that there are in fact no satellites in the sky. It's not a big issue at
all but it would have been nice to have the AIS working if i decide to
press on tonight (the AIS needs the Gps input to know where you are in
relation to other boats so it can plot them on the small screen and
help you avoid them).

Finally into the trade winds

The struggle to reach the stable trade winds seems to have lasted an
eternity, the fleet progress has been very slow compared to the schedule
we had imagined when leaving Punta del Este and only Cessna at the front
has been keeping steady averages since reaching these steady winds a day
ahead of us.

So far and for several days we seemed to have fairly stable winds at night
then we'd get stopped during the day in flukey winds and sudden rain
showers caused presumably by the high temperatures and moist air becoming
unstable. This morning for the first time the winds held strong after
sunrise and the sky is unmistakeably changed, little white fluffy clouds
are scattered regularly around instead of massive cumulus formations
typical of the unstable air masses of the last few days, see the photo for
an example.

We've emerged from this section of the race in second place squeezing a
lead of 60 miles over Phesheya, our gamble to go offshore at Cabo Frio
paid off eventually. I think we can now expect a drag race to the doldrums
where things could get shaken again. I may be wrong so we'll certainly
keep a watchful eye on the Dutch and the Southafrincans and try cover our
backs from a likely attack...

We had a few issues with the NKE electronics suddenly losing the boat
speed reading, then the compass reading, all misteriously working again by
simply powering off an on the system, luckily all the problems occurred
in light airs and not while sailing with the big spinnaker in strong winds
like during leg 3 when a similar failure caused the boat to go off in a
big gybe resulting in the big spinnaker to be torn in half (and
subsequently repaired in Punta del Este).

Another misterious source of worry came from the primary alternator we
rely on to charge the batteries, for 2 consecutive days it seemed to have
given up the ghost, only to wake up gingerly this morning and resume
service as if nothing had ever happened.

So far, save for a spinnaker sheet which I quite stupidly lost overboard
during a manouvre we havent really had any damage or serious problems,
let's hope things carry on like this to make Charleston a stress free and
cheap stopover. The budget has long ago been totally depleted. In Punta we
were being hosted in free accommodation by the Yacht Club Punta del Este
and for the other expenses i relied on the generosity of many readers who
have sent donations through www.marconannini.com/help which i'm very
grateful for. We're hoping to find a host family during our relatively
brief Charleston stopover and hopefully the price of food will be no where
near the inflated prices of Punta del Este where an espresso could cost
over 3 euros! For now we're getting in the swing of our freeze dried diet,
the last fresh item, an apple, was eaten yesterday.