Rolex Transatlantic 2005: A Brutal Slog to the Finish

Aboard Sariyah June 7, past The Needles and on the way to Cowes.

Transat 5-RYS

Carlo Borlenghi/rolex

We finished about 11:45 a.m local time today. It’s been a frustrating 30 hours or so since we crossed our first line at The Lizard. Light winds and bad tide kept us from finishing in the top three, but the mood onboard is very good. We’re all quite pleased to be finished, especially since that awful word, retirement, was bandied about for a while last evening. Personally, I’m glad that we carried on, even though at times our VMG was in the negative numbers. The ship traffic last night proved that the E#nglish Channel is as crowded as everyone says it is. At around 2 a.m. this morning we had six seperate targets converging on our position. Commercial vessels were using the fair tide in the Solent to save time at the same time we were approaching its enterance. It took two people on the bridge to manage all the targets, one on the radar, the other on the VHF. We spoke to Russians, Pakistanis, and quite a few English fishermen as we wound our way through the moving obstacles. You can keep your video games, for pure adrenaline I’ll take the English Channel anytime. We’re on our way to Cowes and a big lunch, then we’ll all start to wend our various ways home. We’ve made some good friends on this trip, and we’ve survived over two weeks at sea without any major personality problems. The common goal was part of it, the wit and charm of everyone the other. One of my lasting memories will be Kevin Burnham rocking out to Barry White while on the wheel early this morning. Kevin’s “go get ’em” attitude has been a touchstone for all of us this trip. I’ll write in more detail about our last 30 hours and the trip in general in the next day or so. Right now I’m going to go back on deck and have another glass of champagne.


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