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OSTAR TWOSTAR 2024 - Half Way Update

by Adrian Gray 13 May 14:50 BST 11-13 May 2024

11th May

At 0900 Alchemy turned from a heading of 327 degree true to 171 degrees true. Little would change during the day as her progress was monitored during the 4 hourly updates. A steady 174 degrees true was held up to 1700 which would appear to be an autopilot steered course.

At 0015 the RWYC race team notified the coast guard due to unusual course and duration of Alchemy. Whilst it was known that there was damage to the mainsail it was felt that asking the HMCG to keep a watch over the vessel at this time would be appropriate, particularly with large swells and the potential drop of the mainsail making the Alchemy very unstable.

Across the Atlantic from Blue Horizon:

"Fifth day from the start and the welcome to the ocean turned out quite nice. The very sleepy Celtic Sea tested my patience and all my qualities from this area. Fortunately, the Atlantic is in shape and so far does not show any willingness to show who is in charge. Third sailing day from mid-wind to backstage. Wind speed is in the second ten, so I don't expect anything else.

Even on the Celtic Sea vigilance could not rest, because many fishing boats were gracing this area. As I flied between four such units, I wondered on whom they were setting their traps. I felt that the target was not only sea creatures, but also yachts floating around here and there. As soon as there were ticks on the monitor, you had to put your head out more often and watch what was in front of the beak. Good thing I missed them during the day, because at night there's no chance to see some related fights. Seems like a lot of room on this sea, but Murphy's law works.

After crossing the continental shelf, there were no fishing boats and traps pawned by them. I'm getting braver and braver into the ocean rhythm, manifested by longer sleeping times. It's getting luxurious because I allow myself to do one and a half hour sessions. Later should be even better, that is, longer with your head in the pillow.

I download the weather forecasts every day and discuss whether to swim further north, south, or just press the orthodrome. I went down a little lower, because it seems to me that I will miss the one, which now rules the North Atlantic, and if he doesn't change his plans, he will end his life somewhere in Iceland.

I tried to include the current situation to the tactical analysis. I opened a map of Atlantic currents and.... this area for analysis is not yet considered. Attached is a picture of the current map. As soon as I get closer to the east coast, I'll come back to this analysis.

The Atlantic is hospitable and friendly so far, although it could not be sparing on heating any more."

Jacek Chabowski powered by Sailing Factory Club

12th May

Following a night of monitoring, news came from Alchemy at 15.18hrs on Sunday 12th:

"All well. I had to repair my main which got damaged in a 12-hour bout of 30 gusting 35 winds 2 nights ago. Even if the main gets fried I have the trysail."

David Southwell

Alchemy is back in action! With all sails back in use she gradually settled back into mode with a south-westerly heading to avoid a new weather system building over the east coast of Newfoundland.

"Noon today was the completion of exactly one week racing Two Star. AJ Wanderlust is delighted to have taken the lead in IRC overall, at least for the moment. We shall be working hard to maintain this advantage. AJ Wanderlust is diligently hunting Alchemy, while being mindful of the attack from behind posed by Odyssey, Lazy Otter and Blue Horizon. With approximately 1100 nautical miles sailed and 1850 nautical miles to go, it still remains all to play for. Winds over the next several days are west to southwest, and moderate to light, not AJ Wanderlust's strength to be tacking angles thru.

As of 9 pm BST, this Sunday evening, we are 970 nautical miles from the southern tip of Newfoundland. AJ Wanderlust is sailing fast under her black 90% blade and a deeply reefed mainsail. The seas are about 3 meters, or 9 feet, at 9 seconds. We have a north-westerly breeze in the mid twenty knot range and gusts to the mid-thirties. The priority remains keeping the boat happy and safe.

There are some blue patches in the cloud cover and sun is peeking thru, we expect moderation of current wind strengths at around 1:30 am Monday morning. It's a wonderful life aboard AJ Wanderlust this evening!"

Charlene Howard, AJ Wanderlust

13th May

The last 24 hours has seen another exceptional shift put in by AJ wanderlust who topped the charts for miles travelled with 152NM, second was Odyssey with 149 and back in the running was Alchemy with 135. As we approach half way this is anyone's race on corrected time...

Updates posted at OSTAR TWOSTAR Facebook page regularly.

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