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93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Email from the Spirit of Hungary co-skipper Marcell Goszleth – in some points

20. 05. 2014. 17:00  email from Marcell

To put it in a nutshell: since our start from Gibraltar, we have been making good progress all along the way. Our TWA’s in the past few days were changing in the range of 60’s-90’s. We had to cope with boatbreaking conditions, that made our life  -and the boat’s too – uncomfortable for a while. The waves were really uneven, that resulted the feel inside the boat as if we had been dropped off from the top of a block building.  A real test for human and machine alike.

However we are happy to see the entire boat proving to be massive and seaworthy.
The forecast seems to be promising fo the upcomig day or two, so that keeps our hopes alive to get to NY on time and catch up with the fleet as soon as possible. Although our focus is still on getting used to the boat and gain as much experience as possible for shaping things during the summer,  

we are really keen to match ourselves with you guys on the startline!

20. 05. 2014. 15:30

So, a few lines about the happenings:

We’ve been sailing on starboard track for 4 days now, on TWA mostly between 65-80. The Our tortuous tracks on the map are unfortunately not due to our overconsumption of brandy. The wind has been strongly variable in terms of both direction and strength so far.

We are facing changes of approximate 70 degrees in wind-direction, that are paired with power changes within a 10 kts scale, so the boat requires lots of trimming for an optimal performance, even during delivery sailing. This includes reefing, as well as changing the Solent and Stay sails, which each of us does on his own. We have to take the waving tendencies into consideration when choosing the HDG, because counter waves generate significant gravity conditions. Those, who have experienced similar cases, know that this isn’t a fairytale.

The most interesting and complicated maneuver (besides cooking) is reefing. I’ll sum the process up in a few points. Attention! It’s really long even to read, recommended only for the obsessed ones!

1.When the idea of reefing emerges, the timer is on, and you have 30 minutes to act. I’ve learnt all this from one of my team mates on the Wild Joe. First rule: don’t rush!

2.You’ve made your decision, the reefing is necessary. Let’s do it!

3.Close the rope stopper and take the main sheet from the starboard winch. Loosen the cunningham, by using the same winch.

4.Go to the front and cord the cunningham into the next reef.

5.Put the reef rope onto the port pit winch, which you’ll have to thaw out.

6.Mainsheet goes back onto the starboard winch, loosen, then fix it in the stopper, take the rope off.

7.Loosen the reef rope, stopper remains open, rope comes off the port pit winch.

8.The mainsail halyard goes onto the same winch now.

9.Check whether the main halyard lock’s rope is free.

10.Start rolling! You roll, and roll, and keep rolling, start getting tired, then continue rolling until you see the sign approach the stopper.

11.Then pull the halyard to the sign, and open the stopper.

12.Halyard in the one hand, the lock’s rope in the other hand.

13.You release the halyard and tighten the lock rope at the same time. In case you did a good job, the car will be fixed in the mast rail — yaaaay!

14.Close the main stopper, pull it again with bare hands. In case the lock pops open, the halyard should sustain.

15.Put the reef rope or the bottom edge onto the winch, and pull (the latter one, in case you’d already un-reefed completely).

16.Take it off, the cunningham comes in its place, work it hard.

17.Put the mainsheet onto the starboard winch and roll, roll, roll … until the trim appears to be ideal.

18.Organize the ropes, sheets and put them away.

19.Ask for an oxygen tent and a heart-massage from the first seagull that flies about.

20.After twenty minutes you start to feel like a man again.

Now everybody open a happier webpage on your laptops in order to forget all this helter-skelter soon …

Cheers, Marcell