24th December 2017
Update No 3. (Monday 18th Dec onwards)
After a tough start they thought conditions would settle….wrong. Weather and sea conditions have been rough and the organisers have confirmed this. Team Noble where overtaken by the other boats and it was necessary to deploy the para anchor to steady the boat throughout the night. Tiredness was affecting the Team, rowing for 1 hour then having a 45 minute sleep, both taking turn- about. They have had to go with the wind basically as it would be too dangerous to turn South, ideally they want to be in the trade winds in order to make it easier on them, they’re about 300 miles away from that position. Blair is back eating ok and they hope to get in a proper routine.
Late Monday and early Tuesday, they actually overtook two boats, which confirmed the course they were on was a good one. The other boats did have a few problems as well though. There was a lot of cloud cover and the battery was not charging fast so they switched everything off and steered manually and, by hand compass calculated the course. For a few days we heard nothing from them other than what could be seen on YB Races. The sea conditions were poor and all concentration was needed to keep safe. They had to deploy their drogue, similar to the para anchor but just slows’ them down a bit and keeps them on an even keel. They found they were reaching the top of a wave then racing down it at 6knots, not a comfy feeling, so the drogue was deployed. Even this didn’t keep them safe as twice they nearly capsized. They could not row after dark as the waves were too big and it was too risky, being unable to see what was coming.
All boats in the race are having a tough time. One boat activated their EPIRB (distress signal) and had to be rescued by a passing Merchant ship, they are now safe. Whilst this rescue was happening a second boat capsized and this resulted in a fire and loss of all electrics, they had to abandon and have been safely rescued by a passing ship. Team Nobles boat is a heavier boat and should be relatively stable, however concentration is needed by the boys all the time. They can’t allow the waves to take them on the side as that could result in capsize.
They have, though, been seeing some wildlife such as dolphins and sea birds. But mostly they have seen winds up to 25 mph and waves between 2 and 4 metres. They haven’t had the start they thought they would get. The Organisers have been great and the boat crews are kept well informed of any weather coming their way. With four boats having to withdraw, including one capsize and fire and one a capsize situation it highlights the fact that this is a serious event and so much is at stake.
Team Noble want to thank everyone supporting and following them. What they don’t know is that people are still donating and buying their t shirts. Since they started the row on 14th December they have received an extra £757.34p. One donation came from The Covent Garden Tenants Association London, totally unexpected and thank you. Another from an Oban pub Quiz night, absolutely amazing, thanks David and Lill
At this time of year we think of all friends and family, past and present, this year is no exception, we just have a bit more quiet time. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2018.