Published on 09/09/2021
There was no shortage of adventures, happenings and some good, hard sailing but Francesca Clapcich, Jesse Fielding and David Paul could all still manage a smile in Roscoff at the end of Stage 3. The international rookie trio tell all.
Francesca Clapcich (Fearless-State Street Marathon Sailing): “I feel like there are small details, small gains here and there that I am missing, it is three or fourth tenths of a knot here and there. But I had to dive under the boat and that did not help. It was a fishing net with lines which did a full wrap around the keel. When I backed up it was just moving with me. I was in the water for a while, there was so much current it was hard. I tried to swim from the back of the boat to the keel but I couldn’t and then I dived from the side. It was bad. I don’t like it. I had a line and my AIS, but I was just in my underwear and it was super cold. I dived twice with the knife. And after I was dead, just so cold. Then I did a big backwards and it came off. And I had no wind information when it was light winds, under 14kts, I had nothing and so the first night was hard with no numbers. It was a really hard leg. I started quite well. Then I took the option to go south and after diving it took me a long time. I was never able to just get to the front of the group when there was a regrouping. Last night I was slow on the crossover between the small spinnaker and gennaker. It is all about more hours on the boat. But all in all it is a but like doing the Volvo, at the end in Holland you are like ‘OK now I know how to do it, let’s do it again. I have to come back!”
David Paul (Just a drop): “I had food poisoning for the first 30 hours and felt terrible. In fact I had quite a funny moment when we were at a mark and someone was calling for room and I was hanging over the back saying ‘sorry I have other priorities.’ The first night the wind did not follow the forecast and then I lost my light wind kite halyard and so then I was a sitting duck VMG running. And I had pilot problems but it was good to be with Francesca and Jesse and be in a race, pushing it hard. And I think it was fun.”
Jesse Fielding (Opportunity-State Street Marathon Sailing): “That leg was a real adventure. It felt much more comfortable. I feel now like I could keep doing these legs until I have done six years or ten years or whatever it takes to get good. I started to see the light. But all that being said we went to some great places, the weather was mostly nice and the Channel was great, the Celtic Sea was nice and my main goal was to stay in touch and this time I was racing right to the end to the point that I was disappointed to lose a place at the end. I don’t have a real rivalry with Francesca, I thought she had gotten away to the south as was the strategy and forecast but it was not so good and we ended up close we met back up at Lands End. But I want to see her crush this, she has it in her and she always has a fan on the race course, that is for sure.
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