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T Clewring J-class

Roxy hits a whale, damaging a daggerboard

by Sam Davies on 23 May 2008
Sam Davies - Roxy Yvan Zedda © http://www.zedda.com.

Hello all,

I apologize for not writing earlier but I have to admit that I haven’t had my best 24 hours. After being stuck with no wind yesterday, my smile came back when the wind started to pick up. Enjoying to sail properly again, I was on deck working hard changing sails and trimming (and at last putting away the code 0) when I heard a big bang.


It was quite foggy so I didn’t see anything in the water but from the noise it made, straight away, I was sure that it was a whale. I don’t think it was a container as that would have been a much harder hit. It was really scary as I have never hit anything before.

I checked the keel immediately and everything seemed fine. Back on deck, I pulled my daggerboard up to check it and realized that it was damaged and cracked. Now I can’t put it all the way down, so I have to use only half of it. Naturally, just after that happened, the wind increased massively.

I had a crazy night after that bad experience. We experienced gusts of up to 37 knots, which was less than what I had previously expected. However, due to the shock of hitting a whale, I couldn’t help slowing down a bit. I couldn’t stop thinking about hitting something again. I had to cope with really unstable conditions, going from one extreme to the other. And as if I didn’t have enough, I had to tack.

At one point I had three reefs in my mainsail and the next I had to hoist the whole mainsail back up again. Because of the stress and all these manoeuvres, I am now really tired, and frustrated as I am back in no wind!

I have to get some rest as I am expecting more wind in a few hours and I don’t want to see the competitors behind, who are further south and probably have better conditions, to catch up. Everything is fine onboard Roxy now, and with just a few more days before the finish line I am not going to stop fighting now!

Sam

At 12:00 GMT, Sam Davies was in 5th position, 809 miles away from the finish line.


To follow Roxy and Sam Davies’ progress: www.roxysailing.com or www.samdavies.com
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