Skipper Conrad Humphreys sent through his latest update from onboard Open 60 HELLOMOTO today as they are on day 8 of their delivery voyage across the North Atlantic back to Europe from The Transat race: ‘We have just passed the half way stage of our delivery voyage home. After a high speed 24 hours with freshening south westerlies we were pushing HELLOMOTO hard, perhaps a little too hard at times. The conditions last night reached storm force – the wind topped out at 56 knots – as we powered downwind with three reefs in the mainsail and the trinquette set. After a bumpy night where the waves were reaching 50ft high with steep ramps, we woke this morning to see Skandia cross our stern heading east as we continued north into stronger wind.
‘At around 1340hrs yesterday with the wind around 40 knots we went for a gybe and reefed the main down to the third pennant. Unfortunately, the mainsail leech split around the third reef, so we’ve been stitching it back together since yesterday afternoon and all through the night until 4 o’clock this morning. It’s a difficult repair and it may mean no mainsail until we reach home. The wind is due to increase to 50 knots later today, so progress is okay under headsails alone. Tonight as the wind drops we will put up the genoa.
‘So, hopefully we can make this repair. If not, with the forecast due to get lighter it could be a slow trip home. I’ve just caught Tony “re-arranging” the food containers – I think he hopes he’ll find some hidden snacks! Olly’s still stitching at the end of the boom. We have looked at the food situation and provided Tony and Olly can make do with normal size portions we should have enough to get home!
‘Given this damage to the mainsail, it is now looking less likely that we’ll have time to make a pit-stop in Plymouth, but we’ll see how progress is for the next two days and make a call then, but it won’t be before the weekend now.
‘By the way, I took some amazing photos yesterday in the rough weather so here’s one ‘postcard from the edge’ for you all! Check out the website to see what happened next!’
Wish you were here..?!
Skipper, HELLOMOTO Open 60
Position: 46 16.46 N 35 58.94 W
Miles to the Channel: 1130m
True Wind Speed: 42 knots
True Wind Direction: 280 degrees
Heading: 060 degrees
Boat speed: 10.2 knots
Sail configuration: Headsails only (trinquette) as mainsail down for repairs
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