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11/20 - 13h33

Squall On for Sir Robin

Congratulations to Anne on winning the Rhum class.   A great effort and she has sailed a great race to a well deserved victory. In the meantime, back on the water, the positions between 2nd and 4th hardly change relatively.   The competition is between 2nd and 3rd as I think the gap between us in 4th and 3rd is too great to be reduced in the distance remaining.  We are coming in at the same speeds, or near enough.  But the fat lady aint sung yet! The squalls disrupted any thoughts of getting some sleep last evening. Although not particularly heavy, just they changed the wind direction for some time by as much as 309 degrees.
I collected a gallon of Fresh Water in a squall from the mainsail.  Pure rainwater brings out a very different flavour in tea and coffee.   I could have had more last night but did not want to leave the controls  in a large and long drawn out squall.  However I did get some clothes freshed off, so it was not all wasted.
Thoughts are now turning to cold beer and fresh salads!   Its still too far out for that.

A Wipe Out occurs when the rudders cannot hold the boat from coming up into the wind.   It is usually caused by a squall increasing the wind or a slight veer in the case of approaching the Windies.  The result is upsetting the sail balance and the boat accelerates, refuses to bear away, and flies up into the wind with all sails luffed (flapping)   In effect there is too much sail up for anything but going down wind.
If asleep, you sense immediately the problem, but you are probably too late to correct it.  The boat goes over on her side, up to 45 degrees, and just lies there everything thundering.   The only cure is to get on deck as fast as possible and ease the sheets, mainsail first, so it is not applying any push into the wind.  At this stage the auto pilot will usually switch to Standby because it is not achieving the result it wants.  Put it back on Auto and hope the boat responds.  Sometimes the Reacher has to be eased as well.   And there you hang until the boat obeys the rudders and you get her going off down wind and sort out the mess - again!
The answer is there is too much sail up, but this is a race

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