13 women, 3750 nautical miles, 12 days – and 26 knots of wind overnight. Team SCA are crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
The all-female crew left their Spanish base in Lanzarote on Thursday, sailing to Newport in the USA. Onboard Reporter trialist Corinna Halloran sent us a report from the boat – and it sounds quite wild. Day 2: Transatlantic Blog
Imagine riding a wicked fast motorbike at night. You're cruising along down a windy road. Suddenly, it starts to rain, not just a nice easy rain but a relentless rain – the kind that floods roads.
And then you're blind folded. You cannot get off the motorbike; you are propelling yourself faster and faster down hills and bends, into the dark night with water all around.
This is what it was like sailing downwind last night in 26 knots. Completely exposed to all of the elements, maneuvering through a gybe completely blind.
Sam was stationed at the helm. Her focus was completely on getting the boat safely down waves. She couldn’t see to ensure no one was injured whilst stacking sails from windward to leeward. This process can be a challenge – think carrying long, wet, potato sacks over your shoulder – but you're trying to not to get hurt, or worse, fall off the boat as it screams down waves doing 22, 23, 24, 25 knots.
The girls knew the night was going to be tricky. During dinner, Stacey made a good point: we were certainly jumping off into the deep end! No chance to hide now! With the wind and sea state only increasing during the night, the girls needed to be focused.
Staying focused, Sam said, would be the key to being safe on a night like last night. All maneuvres, even the smallest of ones, needed to be thoughtful and done with the utmost concentration.
Once dawn broke, we continued to see much of the same conditions from the night before, except now we could see. Over the day we had to gybe a few more times before putting in our final, multi-day gybe shortly before dinner.
Abby was pretty happy with how the first 24 hours had gone – despite the tough conditions – they had sent it.
Team SCA transatlantic crew - Lanzarote-Newport
1. Sally Barkow (USA) - Helm / Trimmer
2. Carolijn Brouwer (NED) - Navigator / Helm
3. Dee Caffari (GBR) - Helm / Pit
4. Sophie Ciszek (AUS) – Bow
5. Sam Davies (GBR) - Watch Captain / Person In Charge
6. Abby Ehler (GBR) - Boat Captain/ Pit
7. Stacey Jackson (AUS) – Bow
8. Annie Lush (GBR) - Helm / Trimmer
9. Elodie-Jane Mettraux (SUI) - Helm / Trimmer
10. Justine Mettraux (SUI) - Helm / Trimmer
11. Liz Wardley (AUS) - Watch Captain
Libby Greenhalgh (GBR) - Navigator (on trial)
Corinna Halloran (USA) - OBR (on trial)
ETA into Newport on Tuesday May 6, 2014 Route:
Lanzarote – waypoint east of the Caribbean – Newport Return trip:
Newport – waypoint off Lisbon, Portugal (a dry run of the Leg 7) - Lanzarote