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The Start, and the English Channel under full sail

20th April 2017
Noon Position: 49'14N 005.30E (Between Ushant and Land's End)
Days's Run: 125 miles
Current Rig: A5 Spinnaker, Staysail, Mailsail, Mizzen Staysail, Mizzen

On Wednesday, Rona II achieved 'sleb status with ITV and BBC crews recording
radio and TV spots onboard.

Before the start of the race, Rona II left the dock with a big crowd in attendance (well,
big for a Wednesday afternoon...) and gave Tor-bay-dos a loud chant-based
sendoff.

Lunch of tuna pasta bake as we made way to the start line. An amazing
selection of breads [cinnamon fruit bread; a seeded bread and a perfect
brown loaf] kept morale high.

A quick sail to the start line, and we were off. As the light winds vectored
round behind us, we hoisted the mizzen staysail while eating a roast lamb
dinner. (Editor: It'd have been quicker if you had put the dinner to one side while you hoisted...!)

Dawn saw our first full race day! After lacklustre windspeed the previous
evening, and a cold night with amazing stars, it was a welcome change to be
able to hoist the A5 spinnaker soon after dawn this morning, a measure that
brought us to a constant speed of around 10 knots alongside the full
mainsail, full mizzen and mizzen staysail.

This, combined with immaculate clear skies, yielded high morale across the
entire crew, with competitor 'Wylde Swan' slipping beyond the horizon far
behind us, the presence of the spinnaker (by their own admission over the
radio) leaving them completely outpaced!

Happy hour was provided by blue watch and consisted of an adaptation of
Romeo and Juliet, supplemented by freshly baked cupcakes. Other hilarity
included the first bout of seasickness of the entire trip and an alleged
birdstrike of the Main.

(blog by alex)

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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