After a week of intense preparation in Lorient, (actually involving as much paperwork as shopping and boat pimping), Vincent Barnaud and I took part with 48 other boats in the first Atlantic-based mini race of the season: the Lorient BSM.
Ten knots of southwesterly wind could have made it a great race to get to know the boat, especially since Vincent used to co-own it and raced it many years. However, shortly after the start, our boat collided with another competitor. The mighty 630 “James Caird” (named Lenger.fr after our sponsor for the race) suffered major breakage, including a hole in our port hull. This gave us no choice but to return to Lorient and abandon the race. Our result is therefore “DNF”, which means “Did Not Finish”.
This was my first race on the boat so calling this a disappointment would be an understatement. However things could have been much worse: the boat that hit us punctured our hull inches short of our shrouds. If the shrouds had been hit, we would have almost certainly lost the mast.
The boat that collided with us was deemed fully responsible for the incident by the Jury and was disqualified from the race (thus getting an acronym of their own: “DSQ”). Needless to say we would have both preferred numbers rather than letters…
630 is now out of the water in Lorient and waiting to be fixed. This is not how I was hoping to start our journey together but one thing is for sure: on our way to the 2015 Mini Transat we will have to go through a lot more than this!
We need to quickly move on and get the boat ready for our next race: the doubled-handed “Mini Fastnet”. The race will leave on 22nd June and will take us from Douarnenez to Douarnenez in a 600 miles loop around the Fastnet rock, which sits just south of Ireland. Great news is that Rémi Aubrun (who used to co-own the boat with Vincent and who sailed it single-handedly across the Atlantic in the 2009 Mini Transat) has offered to race with me. Rémi is a very successful sailor and sail maker, so having him onboard is a privilege! I look forward to a great learning experience…