Ti Gitu left Plymouth with an Easterly forecast and as we cleared the sound the wind arrived. It slowly built through the morning into a blustery force 4 to 5. Ti Gitu romped along and passed all of the many other yachts making the same passage.
We started sailing ‘Goose winged’ or ‘wing and wong’, that is with one sail out each side as the wind was from behind. That would appear to be easy with a junk rigged yacht but in fact in anything other than nearly flat seas it does not work very well. So as the wind and seas increased we started tacking down wind, putting both sails the same side and coming 20 to 30 degrees off course.
That sounds like adding a lot of distance but if measured on a chart coming 20 degrees off course adds very little. If it means that the yacht can go considerably quicker then it becomes worth it. Anyway at the end of the 35 miles, actually at sea, we had averaged 7 knots and left all the Bermudan yachts behind.
We did notice that none of the other yachts poled out their head sail – is this becoming a lost art? When Mo and I were sailing Bermudan rigged yachts the pole and it’s associated gear was set up to allow it to be deployed in just a few moments. I know that Mo jokes about having ‘battles’ with the pole but in reality if Mo could set a head sail out in a few minuets while sailing single handed I am sure that with a good set up so could all the yachts we saw sailing the other day.