If It’s Good Enough For Those Pear FecksOctober 22, 2020
The Boys Of SummerOctober 18, 2020
Having left Greystones on Tuesday, October 13th, Pamela Lee and Cat Hunt are clearly well up for their world record challenge of completing the first all-female double-handed round Ireland sail.
With much love from those watching all around the world and, hopefully, the wind on their backs, this 700-mile journey will be a true test of the duo’s mettle.
And their sailing skills.
Organised in conjunction with The Majenta Project, Lee’s co-skipper at RL Sailing, Kenny Rumball, has been keeping tabs as Pamela and Cat send updates from their journey around Ireland.
And here’s how their world record attempt played out…
Tuesday 13th October 2020
The LARRACHT MAIGEANTA world record attempt is underway!
The girls set off this morning in 20kts of North Westerly breeze, crossing the start line at Kish lighthouse at 7:45 this morning and are heading south for a clock wise rounding. All appears to be going well with a current speed of 9.2kts. They have just put in their first gybe off the coast of Arklow. Track their progress via the “YB tracking” app and regular updates across their social media.
Thanks again to all the sponsors for their continued support.
Stay safe girls, and go smash it!
Tuesday 13th October 2020
Update – Tuesday 17:45 UTC
As we approach the first 12 hour mark it’s been hard to concentrate. Not for the sailors at sea, it’s the people at work constantly updating the Yellow Brick Tracker. We wanted to thank ISORA and Hendrick Ryan for supplying us this invaluable device but productivity has gone out the window, thankfully most of us are working from home so don’t tell the boss.
Right now, Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt are on the south east shores around Dungarvan. They have managed to sail approximately 120nm in favourable conditions with only 2 gybes since they crossed the start line this morning. As predicted the winds will now shift in their favour and start clocking right as they approach the Fastnet Rock.
Supported by the teams onshore navigator Miles Seddon who also held the same position with Mapfre in the last edition of The Ocean Race gives us a deeper look at what the south coast means for them on the water.
“120 TWA heading to a 105 by the end of this leg.
25kn TWS at the start dropping off to 20kn.
Routing keeps you offshore and I think this is really important here, as there can be some very puffy winds coming off the land, so winds are likely to be a little more stable offshore.
Probably stick a waypoint at the top of the Fastnet TSS and aim at that. I would guess that you will be looking to put a reef in or add another as you get to Tuskar, and be certain of when you need to shake it as you approach the Fastnet”
So the next 100 nautical miles or so will be a big push, mainly in the dark, if they advance ahead of current estimates they may escape that light patch of wind due around the Skellig Islands around 14 UTC Wednesday. The team is expected to make their scheduled call with shore manager Kenny Rumball a little later tonight, if we can get you an update directly from the girls we will endeavour to make it available to you on our social accounts.
There’s been an unexpected amount of support coming in across all channels today, we say thanks to all of you watching and we will get it to Pam and Cat to keep them even more motivated.
Tuesday 13th October 2020
Short Update 21:30 UTC
Kenny Rumball (shore manager) was in contact with Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt onboard the Le Figaro RL Sailing
“I managed to catchup with the girls. All is going great, they spent the day sending it downwind with the A5 up, hitting speeds of 15 knots. They both managed to eat, grab some sleep and this evening as dusk approached they were getting ready to prepare for the first night at sea. Spirits are high and they sound really great on the phone”
We didn’t get much more than the basics from them tonight but we did want to thank some of our very eagle eyed viewers for asking some questions and raising some concerns. It was reported a couple of hours ago online that there may have been a problem onboard the Figaro 3 but please feel rest assured we are in regular contact and all is well.
Just to address and explain the report and educate those unfamiliar with short handed sailing we leave you with this explainer on why the tracker had the girls bearing away. I can assure you this is normal practice for shorthanded racing and nothing to worry about. If something does happen you’ll hear it first here.
*Some of our observations were correct and the boat altered course around 19h10 (local) bearing away just as dusk fell. They peeled from the A5 spinnaker to a Code Zero which unlike a spinnaker is on a furler system. They did so to be able to furl the big sail away fast at night rather than try to retrieve a spinnaker should the breeze increase fast. Precautionary measures are always advisable at night especially when double handed. In addition when sailing double or single handed manoeuvres take a lot longer and the girls took their time to ensure the boat was set up for the night-time sail toward the Fastnet.Please note the YB Tracker is not real time and updates every 30mins, so there can be delays in accurate tracks.*
We thank all who let us know or reached out to us.
Lets see what tomorrow will bring us….Sail Fast
Wednesday 14th October 2020
Update: 09:00 UTC
Overnight both double handed sailors Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt rounded the iconic Fastnet Rock at approximately 01:52 UTC (03:53 local). The breeze was northerly in direction at 15 knots, while they favoured downwind angles up to this point in the record attempt as they rounded the “Rock” the modes changed to a fetch in the direction of the Bull Rock.
Kenny Rumball, shore manager, was in direct contact with the team via Iridium sat phone this morning (07:00 UTC) to check in with the team.
“I spoke again with the girls, they passed the Fastnet Lighthouse around 3.50 am and started to fetch up the southwest coast. The girls sounded well rested, focused and will wait for the next forecast models to look at routing up the west coast. They already have seen a slight right hand shift and a drop in wind speed. All looking good for the routing towards the Mayo coast”
West is best they say, what the team is now looking for is a further right hand shift to enable them sail a rhumb line towards Slyne Head. This is probably the hard part, a dying breeze to navigate through. They will favour a more backing wind direction where it should eventually end in a south easterly, assisting them with the north coast. But before we jump ahead the team will first have to round the Tearaght Island, the most western island of the Blasket Sound. From then it’s going to be on the wind in testing conditions.
So far it’s worked out in their favour, let’s hope we have a little more wind than forecast and that right hand shift comes quicker.
Wednesday 14th October 2020
Update: 19:00 UTC
Lat/Lon: 52° 55.69 N, 010° 36.99 W off the west coast of Ireland.
Shore manager Kenny Rumball just got off the phone to Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt onboard the mighty RL Sailing Figaro III.
“The girls have about 11knots at 60TWA at the moment and they can see another slight shift to the right starting to develop which they seem happy with as they can ease the sheets and sail freer. The boat is holding up well, charging, engine and dry below decks. They told me they took advantage of the drop in wind speed, caught up on sleep and ate a lot, they were mindful on how important it is to stay well fed on trips like this. Otherwise, they had a busy day of sail changes, from J1 to Zero and back again trying to get as much boat speed as possible in the changing conditions. I’m due a call in the morning with them but they sounds good and ready for a calmer night than the first.”
So, it seems an easier night ahead for the team. They have approximately 80 nautical miles to the next big turning point at Eagle Rock off Belmullet. And then the run north east across of our island before the challenge of tidal gates near Ratlin.
Friday 16th October 2.20pm
Very frustrating for all involved watching ashore and from onboard. The tide has turned against them and the wind has got very light.
Hear what the team had to say about it all.
We are almost on the home straight…. Fingers Crossed it fills in soon.
Friday 16th October 9.30pm
The long journey home
Both Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt are on the home stretch with only 68 miles to go!
If successful they will cross the official start/finish line, a line due west of Kish lighthouse estimated (but please refer to the team tracker for accurate positions) at 04:30 to 05:30 local time.
Shore manager, Kenny Rumball will be in the team rib and with official time keepers to greet them. They will then be escorted towards Greystones Marina, the home port. This process of taking sails down and getting to the destination which is 10 nautical miles will take a minimum of 1 hour.
In line with government guidelines and Covid compliance, only the immediate family members from the same household of the girls will be permitted to greet them on the dock. We have had a huge response on how to welcome the girls as there has been overwhelming support.
As a team wanting to ensure the safety of all involved we would in the first instance request your presence online by means of a Facebook live. We feel this is the safest option for everyone, if you decide to arrive in person, the public will not be permitted on to the dock at the marina and we expect anyone in the area to comply with government guidelines. Greystones marina has large open areas along the pier and breakwater which would be a suitable place to socially distance. Of course we would all love nothing more to celebrate this World Record attempt in person but the safety of the public is our absolute priority and therefore request you respectfully accept our decisions on this. 2020 may not have been the year we all expected but a good news story like this is certainly one to celebrate.
Saturday 17th October 3.45am
And that’s world record for an all-female Round Ireland sail, Pamela and Cat circumnavigating the country in 3 days 20 hours and 29 minutes. Naturally, the Lees were waiting – with warm grub, and even warmer hugs – when they got back into Greystones in the wee-wee hours of Saturday morning…
You can find out more about Pamela and Cat’s world record attempt here, about The Majenta Project here, and about RL Sailing right about here.
Video above posted Saturday, October 17th at 3.25am. Pics courtesy of Rescue 118, Cat Hunt, RNLI, Inpho Sports Photography and, of course, de Guide.