Into the end game for BSL

27 10 2011

With 188 miles to go in the first leg of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race, Ross and Campbell Field on board BSL are current fleet leaders but not without a spectacular battle with their closest contenders Campagne de France. BSL has certainly lived up to expectations and the father and son duo have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Ross extends his thanks to those who have supported them and is looking forward to arriving in Cape Town on Friday.

Hi all – on the final run into Cape Town with 188 miles to go. We have a reef in the main, a fractional spinnaker and charging on at around 13-18 knots.  The sun is out and it’s pleasant.

I think I said there would be some dramas on the approach to Cape Town – we had our share yesterday.  Our weather indicated to go south for more wind, well we got what we asked for 20 – 48 knots, with a constant 30-35 knots for hours on end.  We wiped the poor old boat BSL out twice, once was a real beauty.  We were running under fractional spinnaker in around 28 knots, fair hauling and then Campbell saw a squall on the horizon.  Campbell convinced me to drop the spinnaker and go under headsail thru the squall.  We did everything correctly and prepared for a squall of35 knots max, but it just kept increasing to 48 knots and we were charging, up over waves through waves, down waves at speeds of 20+ and then finally I planted poor old BSL into the bottom of a huge roller and she came to a grinding halt, tipped over on her side, keel flapping in mid air, and I thought the rig was going to be blown out of the boat and land on Table Mountain.  How the rig never came down I don’t know, but we got BSL back on her feet and we were off again – man she is a tough boat, and a pleasure to sail.  I have said to Campbell on many occasions (he says I am old and repeating myself) that BSL is the most incredible reaching boat that I have ever sailed on – sometimes it’s like she is on rails and just goes faster and faster until you start thinking – when is this boat going to slow down – amazing!!

It has been blowing dogs off chains (policemen out of dough nut shops) for nearly 18 hours and we’re looking forward to some lighter airs.

Campbell and I have been discussing what the southern ocean is going to be like on BSL – man I think we going to have our work cut out, but it’s going to be a brand new experience, taking a 40 footer into the southern ocean – we have a number of cunning plans!!

Looking forward to finishing this leg – its been tough but very enjoyable.

This will be my last blog from the boat for this leg.  Bill and the others from BSL, thanks for your support – it’s great working with you and I will see you next week.  To all our suppliers – your support is helping our campaign immensely.

Jan and Tracy – thanks for letting us do these strange things.  Friends, families, supporters – thanks everyone – there is more exciting racing coming up