2015 Campaign

Campaigning for the 2015 AZAB Race & Rolex Fastnet Race

Monday, 8 June 2015

Autopilot forces retirement

It is with great sadness that we made the decision to abandon racing
yesterday and turn toward Brest.

One of the lessons we learnt from the Round Britain & Ireland Race last
year was the importance of a reliable autopilot when sailing downwind in
heavy seas. During that race Trevor & I had to steer by hand for up to
24 hours and found it exhausting, having to change watches every hour.

So we made the decision to upgrade to a more modern autopilot over the
winter. Unfortunately that proved to be unreliable, going into standby
without warning on random occasions - potentially catastrophic at the
wrong moment.

So late in the day we switched to a third pilot which has has worked
tirelessly without disengaging. However, insufficient time for complete
seas trial meant we started this race at risk. Despite our best efforts
to adjust various sensitivity settings, we just cannot get the pilot to
hold a steady course downwind in moderate seas. So with the forecast
increased winds and seas, we reluctantly made the decision to play safe
and return to port.

As our Fastnet campaign is fully crewed we will not be using the pilot.
So we now have time to sort out the pilot before our next
double-handed campaign.

Thanks to all for your support and do follow us on the Fastnet in August
as we race with a crew of four. We are currently leading the J109 class
in the RORC series, so there is all to play for there.



  1. Keith Hambly-Staite13 June 2015 at 22:26

    Trevor, This must be so disappointing for you. Your adopting School Truro Prep will have learnt a lot form your experience nevertheless. Thank you for being involved in the Schools Project and the best of good fortune in the Fastnet. Regards, Keith

  2. Trevor, Richard
    Sad to learn about this end, but for sure happy to see you safe. Chances will be in abundance. Antonio Valcarce