Marco second into Charleston

Marco - tales second place into Charleston

Finally here we are, Sergio and I literally just crossed the finish line in
front of Charleston Harbour, it’s the middle of the night, just after
midnight local time, the race officials are about to board the boat to check
the engine seals and then we’ll be able to drop the sails and motor towards
the marina. Hopefully we’re still in time to get our first beer in the
United States but we may have to wait for immigration officials before we’re
allowed to get off the boat, they are pretty strict over here with this
stuff…

It took us just under 30 days to sail from Punta del Este to take second
place in Charleston, three days faster than we had anticipated, finishing
within 24 hours of race leader Cessna Citation. We are very pleased with
our performance on this leg, we are again first of the vintage boats, it
may have been the mildest of all legs from a weather perspective but it
was quite tactical and required relentless attention to boat speed and
sail trim.

We took an early lead over our direct competitors on Phesheya and
Sec.Hayai and managed to build an advantage of nearly 200 miles in the run
up to the Caribbean Islands. From then onwards the winds were always
stronger, relatively speaking, at the back of the fleet allowing us to
close the gap to the leading boat, Cessna Citation, from 400 miles ahead
to just 160 but simultaneusly allowing Phesheya to close in from behind
from 185 miles to as little as 40 miles a couple of days ago.

In many respects it was a rather boring leg, I will remember the heat and
the endless amount of time spent under big spinnaker on the same tack with
little more to do than regularly check for sail trim and weed in the
rudders.

The easier weather conditions luckily meant that we have no damage to
report. We stupidly lost a spinnaker sheet during a manouvre and the only
thing that needs attending is the main alternator that has stopped working
a few weeks ago, let’s hope it does not require and expensive replacement.

We are looking forward to the time off in Charleston before the final
sprint back to Europe, I can’t believe I really made it this far, the
start in Palma seems a world away and now Europe is just a transatlantic
crossing away…

As always, very humbly and openly I thank anyone wishing to help with the
stopover costs or simply wishing to offer a celebratory beer, you can do
so online at www.marconannini.com/help

Also, don’t forget the boat is up for urgent sale and offers are invited
as soon as we’re back in Europe. For further information please email Ella
at connolly_ella@yahoo.com

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