The 11th May 08 saw Paulene and I quickly
leaving the Sunday
service for our small sailing boat 'PennCirrus' to see 'The Artemis Transat.'
had looked on the internet and found the start time of the four yearly
transatlantic solo sailing race. The boats were to leave Sutton harbour at
10:00hrs and parade past
The Hoe and out to the start area. There was a
prohibited area for the start, which was at 14:00hrs by a gun from the type 23
Frigate which was at one end of the line. Paulene packed a large coolbag with a
picnic and we were on the water by 12:00hrs.
Yannick Bestaven, onboard Cervin EnR
I chose to use the engine, as I had been out in such an event before, when I found keeping a good lookout to sail the boat meant that it was hard to watch the event. We passed 'Cloudberry' and saw some more of our TMSC club members who were also out to see the event. Among this press of boats we saw
full of spectators. She even had Jamie Watts up the mast.
Plymouth breakwater there were boats with very large
sails and squareish
tops to them. This was The Artemis Transat Fleet. Most conspicuous were the 60's as
they dominated all but HMS Argyll, a
436ft frigate of the Type 23 Duke Class and 'The
Earl of Pembroke' a square rigged boat over on
the Eastern side of the breakwater. There were also the 40's fleet. Each racing
boat was accompanied by RIB's and boats filled with supporters and sponsors. We
all had a super afternoon viewing this spectacle.
a large open outboard motor boat, with a big new stainless steel
'A' frame. Paulene was concerned that we would never find
them in this multitude of boats afloat. I saw a motor boat near Penlee Point
with a flash of metal above and set off to see and as we approached, Paulene
waved madly and we were pleased to find them. I had flown two large flags : the
cruising Mosquito flag and a pirate flag the skull & crossbones from our mast,
so they could find us again now.
The Roscoff ferry mv Pont-Aven came. It looked as though it would have to creep in among the fleet of boats but it came through the main channel, between Penlee Point and the breakwater, which was not so crowded with boats as the race fleet was to start south of the breakwater. By 13:30hrs all around us, the racing boats slowly went up and down. We had a splendid view to take photos.
Paulene wanted to see the three masted square rigged boat 'The Earl of Pembroke' so we motored across, behind the boats accompanying the racing fleet. The water was wild with the wake of a multitude of boats trying to keep up with the fleet. We saw one of the lady helms on a racing 60's go forward to the front sails, she must have been on autohelm, and heaven help any one getting in the way!
Earl of Pembroke had her sails set and the side of the boat was filled
with spectators, as they viewed the fleet heading out to sea with the
multitude of boats and a number of helicopters over head. We took some
photos and as we headed back to Penlee Point, a mist developed over
the horizon towards Eddystone lighthouse.