Irish Skipper Pamela Lee and her Atlantic Crossing on the Class 40

From Le Havre to Loreint to Martinque.

Pamela Lee along with her crew Tiphane Ragueneau crossed the Atlantic on the Transat Jacque Vabre Race in 21 days, 23 hours, 1 minute and 13 seconds.

The two girls placed 29th among their fleet of 44 Class40 boats.

They had a few complications throughout their race, but took it their stride focusing on the positives. Heavy weather throughout the TJV presented them with several challenges of damaged equipment. Their first complication came at the very start of the race when heading to the start line their J1 (a furling sail at the head of the boat) took a tear on one of their first tacks. Returning ashore to have the sail repaired they were able to start again later that day.

Later in the race they experienced a tear to their A2 Spinnaker completely into pieces (large light kite) which would allow them to maintain speed in holes of wind and the predicted weak Trade Winds for the majority of the crossing.

They spent a few days trying to repair the A2, as the forecast of reduced wind that lay ahead of them encouraged them to get it fixed as soon as they could. Tiphane was taken back to some old memories while sewing up the sail commentating,

“the difference between sewing a spinnaker and a cow, is that the spinnaker isn’t trying to kick you after each stich.”

To add to complications, two of their onboard water tanks broke, still with a few days to go so they had to be very saving with water and were only eating what was necessary until they reached Martinique as the race was taking longer than expected.

Renaming their A2 ‘Frankenstein’ as it held for about 5 hours before blowing again, the girls reverted to their A4 and continued onto Martinque defending their position of 29th place.

They reached onboard speeds of 20knots across the race as they surfed the waves in heavy winds, experienced extreme heats, worked through system failures, sewed sails and much, much more all while travelling across the Atlantic Ocean. Safe to say this race put them through their paces and still had them arrive smiling. An incredible achievement and display of bravery and resilience in sport.

Resilience being a word that comes to mind for Pam when reflecting on the whole project.  

"As it is applicable to all of the sailing and the whole race, from the start in having the race course changed due to weather, to that first leg of the race being the toughest 48 hours I think I have ever experienced at sea, to the restart from Loreint and the mental challenges that brought with it"

"even the process of getting to the start line, 2 years ago this was just an idea I had in my head and Maxim and I just worked tirelessy to get there, and through resilience we got there. I think thats whats so great about this sport as it gives us these skills we can use through life again and again"

"This entire project, from start to finish has been a huge challenge and learning experience. I'm so grateful to everyone involved, I'll remember the super highs of surfing waves under starlight and the lows shredding the J2 in +40kts of wind off the Spanish coast. I can't wait to go again!"

The girls want to thank everyone on their team and all their supporters for all the hard work and support they provided them throughout this campaign. A long road and a tough sail!


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