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Race Day!

April 19th, Midday
Current position: 50.27.4 N, 3.31.6 W (currently alongside in Torquay)
Day's run: 0
Current rig: sails stowed

RACE DAY!

We are currently in Torquay harbour enjoying our last bit of shore leave
before we race to Sines. The sun is shining and the crew are in high spirits
ready to race.

We have sailed exactly zero miles since our last blog.

Rona II has been dressed to impress while in Torquay. The mizzen halyard was
almost lost during the dressing process when a bowline slipped, although it
was quickly retrieved by White watch sending one of the Toms (in this case
Tom C) up the mast, where he retrieved the halyard and took  a photo opportunity with Toby the boat mascot.

Last night Red watch treated the crew to roast chicken followed by apple
crumble and custard. There was even enough left to enjoy cold crumble with
tea this morning. The Skipper and Mate went to the prize giving of the
Torbay Small Ship's race. We had a few visitors, including our Trustee Dawn
Bishop, a local who had sailed on Rona II's maiden voyage in the 1992
Columbus Tall Ships Race, and a friend of our Watch Officer Paul, who was WL on the 1964 Atlantic race. We heard some extracts from the handwritten diary from the 1993
voyage, including a description of one of the most memorable days in his
life.

We are currently in final preparations for starting the race later today.
Mother watch have done a sterling job of baking a selection of artisan
breads (honey and fruit, seeded and whole meal) for the crew's delight at
happy hour this afternoon. The food has been stowed, kit secured and water
filled. Rona II is now ready to race.

Joke of the day: What do you call a boat with a hole in it? A sink.

(Blog by Becky)

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> Disaster strikes! After arriving in the visitor marina of Le Havre at > 0430, > Rona II drove over a stray rope which had been left in the water. > This tangled around the propeller, causing the Skipper to call for the > anchor to be dropped a mere 10 metres from our intended mooring position. > The crew then had to inflate the rubber dinghy and set world class rower > Theo Darlow to take a line to shore where himself and Dr Sam Wareing > pulled > the boat in. > > In the morning, the afterguard set off to find a commercial diver to cut > the > rope free from the propeller. They located a man named Patrick, who > arrived > to the scene of the incident at about 1500 donning full scuba gear; he > quickly got into the water and began working away at the stern of Rona II. > After roughly 45 minutes of fishing bits of rope from the marina water, > the > crew saw Patrick emerge victorious. Angus Elliman used his

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Rona II - Current Tactics

Greetings from Rona II. It's early morning on Monday, still dark, and has been a busy night as we've changed steadily down from genoa, staysail, full main and mizzen, to no 2 yankee, staysail, second reef and mizzen. The wind has come aft a little and we are trucking along. Tactically over the next couple of days we're trying to play to Rona II's strengths. She's an absolute weapon with the wind a little aft of the beam and around 18 knots of breeze, so with more wind (and a higher sea state) to the north west, and less of both to the south east, we're adjusting our (generally north east) course to try and keep ourselves in exactly that much wind. Ultimately it looks like we'll go quite a long way north before turning east, covering a longer distance in order to stay in Rona II's sweet spot for as long as possible. It's too early to properly know what the rest of the fleet is doing but we suspect we're the most north