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OGA60 Plymouth bound

Today we bring extracts from several skippers’ logs as they attempted to reach Plymouth on Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 May. Severe storms battered the boats as they made passage from east and west along the south west coast.

The #RBC60 fleet is assembled in Plymouth after some challenges crossing Lyme Bay, huddled together under a looming sky!

Richard Bailey, skipper, ‘Lahloo’ , Cornish Crabber 26, built 2012

We have had a really challenging couple of days, so we are all pretty tired. Today we set sail from Brixham, aiming for Plymouth. But in the afternoon we were suddenly struck by winds of about 35 knots – a storm that was not predicted but nearly knocked us over. The crew were great and happily we are now safely moored in Salcombe enjoying a beer.

Roger & Chris Hardman, ‘Indian Runner’ Cornish Crabber 26, built 2012

Tuesday 9 May: We left Dartmouth with a forecast of moderate SW winds. There was thick fog past Start Point, but with a bit of care and watching GPS and AIS that’s not too concerning. Sailing along with a fair tide, and expecting to be in Plymouth by mid afternoon, there was a tremendous squall from SW with driving rain. Very quickly a heavy swell sprung up. We dropped the main completely and rolled up the jib so we were roaring along with just staysail and mizzen. This strong wind wasn’t forecast, at least force 8. Of the Gaffers, ‘Indian Runner’ a few miles from us recorded a strength of 35 knots and had to turn back.‘Susan J’ off Plymouth recorded gusts of 60 knots. In Lyme Bay the pilot cutter ‘Letty’ suffered rigging damage due to the strength of the wind and had to put back for repairs. Pilot cutters are pretty solid and robust craft. We ran back to Dartmouth and tied up to the pontoon we had left that morning.

Wednesday 10 May: The most pressing job that needed doing was making a new boom crutch to replace the one that got washed overboard in the storms yesterday. It was oak, with a patina accumulated over many years of varnishing. The new one is knotty pine, all they had in the shop. It should do until I can make a more sophisticated one or maybe just get used to it.

Mike Beckett, OGA President, ‘Bonita’: full report on her blog