Following Round Ireland, Greg left for his Route du Rhum Qualifier.
In addition to the selection process to gain one of the 55 Class 40 slots, each skipper has to complete a qualifying passage. That passage can be either one of a few approved races in solo mode, a solo passage of 1,200 miles with at least 120 miles upwind in at least Force 5 (19-22kts), or a combination of a shorter solo race and a qualifying passage.
The delivery back from Ireland to Hamble was a great opportunity to double as a qualifying passage. We agreed with the race management on a course that would head south from Dún Laoghaire to a point off La Rochelle, back up to Ireland near Cork, south to France again near Brest and then on to Hamble.
Greg left Sunday the 26th as a low was passing Ireland promising 20+ kts S/Sw’erly.
Well, the low overdelivered. We had 30kts for the first 100 miles or so before it eased off for a few hours. Then the next front passed and brought more mid 30s! Step one – upwind requirement met…
Over all, it was a fun passage with few issues. The last miles into Hamble were active with a lot of shipping and fishing boats. We (I guess that is a royal we) finished in just over 6 days and something like 1350 miles sailed.