I'm exhausted. I'm physically and mentally shattered and yet I have hardly left my chair. Why? My
|Third night at sea|
I began writing this whilst they were mid race and started by writing the post thus:
Grab a coffee and help me stay awake, if I disappear for a moment every 30 minutes or so, do excuse as I am trying to see where his latest position is, let me explain...
But I was not able to concentrate on blog writing whilst also trying to keep track of them so here is their race in Scotland now that they have thank goodness successfully completed it.
|Fast and furious sailing to begin|
On returning home my husband began to explain how they started to climb Goatfell at about 4am, I know I responded, I was there with you refreshing the page... this is why I am shattered and the house looks like a bomb site...
Injuries in this race are not uncommon and many boats have to retire. Of the 38 that began only 29 completed the race. One poor chap fell on Mull in difficult wet and dark conditions and had to be helicopted to the mainland and under went surgery. I'm surprised more were not injured.
|Second race was on Mull and conditions were 'horrendous' |
according to the tweets that were flying around.
|Visibility on Mull became like pea soup|
One boat retired after the run on Mull which by all accounts seems to have been hellish. They write as their reason for retiring from the race as, we can see we are only a few miles from the distillery at Tobermoray so are going to make our way there after this hellish run.
|The odd run was conducted in daylight|
|Having climbed one large mountain/hill, there was time for |
a quick stop to look at the next climb!
|Scotland at it's best|
|The bluebells were still out|
Having spent much longer on some of the runs than anticipated mainly due to the bad weather and night time running it meant that Brimble and crew were having to sail against the tide, they had missed the tidal gate and made for slow painful sailing progress, it could be said they were pushed backwards for a while. At this point another boat retired as they couldn't be bothered to battle the tidal gate and turned round and sailed home.
|Light house in the Sound of Luing, here the boat missed |
the tidal gate and almost moved backwards for several hours
|No engines allowed in this race. Runners rowing |
to shore to begin their running leg
After strong winds and rain, being pushed backwards by missing the tidal gate having completed three of the four runs, the wind died down and there was not a whisper to be had. Out came the newly purchased wooden oars and the crew had to row as no engines are allowed. By this time everyone was almost exhausted. Another boat retired at this point stating being becalmed with so many more miles to sail meant they had had enough.
|Becalmed at night and so it was time to bring out the |
3m long oars and row the 28 foot sail boat
With strong winds and rain battering down, one boats mainsail ripped and so they had to retire from the race also. Small but steady Brimble soldiered on.
|The weather was often not kind|
|Having completed running up and down the |
3 Paps of Jura, it was time for the sail to Arran
|Light house on Mull of Kintyre, the sea was rough and |
outfalls difficult & yes they did play the
Rod Stewart song as they sailed past
Another boat retired at this point as they needed to push on and get in so as to be able to allow crew members to get back to work as the race had taken longer than anticipated. Their engine fired up, they motor sailed to the finish.
|Being the smallest boat in the race, there was not actually |
enough sleeping bunks for all. It was a tight squeeze
|All sorts of weather was experienced|
|Whilst sailing the easiest food to eat is that which can be cooked |
quickly, fits into a bowl and can be eaten with only a fork
|Another night time approaches|
|Steep hill climbs with loose rocks everywhere, dangerous |
running, especially when conducted mostly at night
|Stunning scenery but can you spot our runner?|
In the anchorage of Jura one boat had to retire as they were quoted as being a 'bit too friendly with some rocks'. What they meant by that was that the sailing navigation of this race is difficult and they hit underwater rocks and their keel fell off!
|Oh yes, all three need to be climbed|
By this last race John said everyone was utterly exhausted. Little sleep had been had by any of them and they had all been pushed to their limits. They completed the run and sailed to the finish line at Troon, south west of Glasgow. Celebratory beers and dinner was had with one crew member falling asleep before the main arrived and awoke to the pudding!
|Top of Goatfell on Arran, half way through the last climb|
All throughout the race twitter was alive with the arm chair spectators like me fascinated by the yellow brick tracking system and cheering on all the boats. Camaraderie was strong and supportive and even though I was not racing was made to feel part of the group. The penultimate tweet from the organisers on cheering the last boat home, Brimble read:
It's Brimble! With a finishing time of 15:13:28. Hooray!
Would John do it again? Indeed if Brimble were to find herself in Scotland at the right time of year, the answer was a resounding yes. Despite having had terrible weather at times and little sleep, John felt the race was extremely well organised and he loved it in a challenging sadistic way. Me? I'll stick to arm chair spectating and engaging in the social media whirr that took place unbeknown to sailors and runners alike.