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11/05 - 09h15

Good Tuesday for Grey Power

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is up to seventh place in the Rhum class and is making good, steady progress approaching the passage of Cape Finisterre. He is on great form, musing on the performance of race leader Loick Peyron. 

Tuesday was a good day for us.  Once I had sorted out the deck at daylight, I set more sail and we got moving at last.  This boat was built by that remarkable Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini as "Fila" and he won the Around Alone race in her the next year.  For this race we had time to prepare her properly, unlike the 2006 Velux5oceans race where we were rushed.
So on Tuesday I put her under some pressure to get across the Bay of Biscay fast and make up some of the time we lost in the Channel, and it was good to look astern at a long straight wake stretching away into the distance.

I think I lost some time at the beginning because the tacking angle is too wide and we need deeper dagger boards to grip the water when beating.
Boats like the water to go along the hull not across it. Also, I did try to stop the boat being slammed too much in the waves as breakages at the beginning demand a price down the line.   To win, first
you have to finish.

 My only "damage" so far is that the wind instruments have failed, but that is where I have an advantage over the younger skippers in that I grew up when we did not have such luxuries.

So, as I look at the latest position reports, it is good to see we are slowly reeling in the boats that got ahead of us earlier.   We have the speed on a reach,so it will now come down to tactical decisions as to where to choose to make the crossing of the Atlantic, and every competitor is thinking about that right now.  At the end of the day, we all race within our classes, but I think we must all be watching with admiration the progress of the Ultimes.

20 years ago Peter Blake and I thought a 92 foot catamaran was big and fast, and it was at the time.  We averaged 15 knots around the world with a crew of 8.  Loick Peyron is now averaging close to 30 knots single handed!
That is progress. One wonders at what the watchkeepers on the Merchant ships make of it, as they see AIS targets coming towards them, or overtaking them at the speeds we now make in yachts.  Banque Popular must appear like a new secret navy weapon.

And sitting here watching all the action in the navigation area is a Royal National Lifeboat Institution "Teddy" Bear, chosen from amongst thousands to accompany e in this race.   His reward will be to be sold off to raise money for the RNLI.

Robin Knox-Johnston
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 Entries Are Open

Entries Are Open

Long awaited by skippers, boat and team owners, stakeholders and sponsors alike the Notice of Race for the 40th anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe was published and made available on Tuesday 24th October. The official document drawn up and published by OC Sport Pen Duick, the organisers of the historic event, formally opens the entry registration process and announces the opening dates of the 12,000 m2 race village in Saint Malo. The village will be open from Wednesday 24th October and stays open until after the start on Sunday November 4th.


Sir Robin's In The Pink on Grey Power, finished third!

Sir Robin's In The Pink on Grey Power, finished third!

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston finishes third in Rhum Class in La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe Solo Transatlantic Race. Hours from the finish line, when he was locked in a tense final battle with Italian course record holder for his class Andrea Mura, doing all he could to steal second, Britain's Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, pronounced that he would be simply 'ecstatic' if he were to finish third in the Rhum Class of La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, the 3542 miles solo race from Saint-Malo, France to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.