All aboard Astrid

13 April 2010

All aboard Astrid
The Dutch Class A Astrid is on her way to Trapani in the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta. Last night first mate Willem van der Wel sent the following report:

"Saturday our trainees arrived, a mixture of nationalities and ages. Directly after they found their cabins we instructed our new crew in one of the most important things on board a square rigger, going aloft. They learned how to use a safety harness and how to climb in the mast. 

"Sunday morning their newly acquired skill was needed directly after breakfast. We were getting ready to sail and this meant that the sails needed to be unpacked. And when we left Genova we manned the yards as a thanks to the port for their hospitality. Sunday afternoon the decision was made by the race committee that we were not going to start that day. 

"A lack of wind in the Gulf of Genova and better forecasts further south meant that the fleet sailed 60 miles in the direction of Trapani. In the morning we were able to start. The start line was opened at 1100 local time and Astrid went over the line at 29 seconds after that. 

"After this exciting start the winds were light and we sailed towards Trapani with a speed around 3 knots. Monday evening we sailed past Elba where the wind increased and we were doing 6 knots for a while, but this did not last long. We went through the night with the wind varying quite a bit, our speed ranging from 0,1 to 7,6 knots. Around 8 o'clock we were right besides Tenacious and Den Store Bjorn. This is the first time I have seen a race fleet stay so close together. Unfortunately Tenacious got from under our wind coverage and sailed off with 8 knots. But the battle is not won. There are three more exiting days to go."
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