It has been a truly inspired first 24hours for Edinburgh, with our hard work throughout the night pulling us from 9th up to a magnificent 3rd place at the first scheds this morning. Throughout the night we could still see all the other yachts surrounding us on the horizon and it felt fantastic to gradually real our competitors in one by one, climbing the ranks to the front runners and visibly seeing the results of our efforts. It felt good to leave watch feeling like we had done a good job and return on watch a few hours later to see the other watch had worked equally hard and reaped similar rewards in another place closer to the front runners.
Sadly our fantastic and “seamless” repair to the All Purpose Kite was just not enough. The sail cloth has worn so thin through consistent UV damage and been significantly weakened by the heavy duty repair that all it took was a heavy gust and BOOM! The kite exploded before our eyes and tore right across the head once again as it did before though a foot under the original repair and again from the head down the clew of the port side leach line. After the initial shock, it was action stations as we set about recovering the spinnaker onboard. This proved rather more complicated as we then lost all but the head and a thin strip of cloth down the side overboard.
All hands emerged on deck and armed with boat hooks we made 5 attempts to recover the kite which was floating away and finally Elliot grabbed a hold of it and an army of crew hauled the rest of her back onboard and down below to assess the damage.
After much deliberation and discussion, it has been deemed a write off. A sad moment and frustrating due to the amount of hard work and effort we spent on it in Cape Breton. However, this is Ocean racing and at least we recovered all parts of her. To this end we will lose no precious points for lost equipment. We just have to set to work recovering the 2.3nm we lost during the rescue mission and what looks like 2-3 places on the horizon! Watch this space!