It seems like a good while ago since we left the yard in Palma. We had planned to go straight to Cogolin in France where our container is based but the weather forced a stop in Barcelona. As it was we had a speedy downwind ride which culminated in a beat into gusts of 50 knots as we entered the Golf of St Tropez. If course as we approached the port the sun slipped behind the hills and we were forced to weave our way in between anchored boats, some easier to spot than others. It’s a nerve wracking situation navigating a boat that does not manoeuvre well into a port in big breeze and under the cover of dark but thankfully we did it with great success. The fuel dock was kind enough to let us moor side to for the night as we stood no chance of stern to parking without damaging the new paintwork.
Three days later and Dorade had been transformed into classic show mode. Wood floor boards and doors in place, pig sticks ready for action, new Dacron sails on board and wind sock deployed. Joined by our translator Pierre, we set sail for Corsica after a final meal ashore. Having never been to Corsica before we were happy to find a stunning little place in the port of Calvi although it did take an hour to get ourselves parked up. We might be in a prune spot but the only was in and out of the berth is with the assistance of tenders and the marina comes equipped with aggressive looking metal boats kitted out with big black rubber bumpers and drivers who are more accustomed to assisting large motor yachts. Still we got in, now we are just waiting for the weather window to get out to practice. A strong gradient breeze coupled with a hefty thermal effect has meant that it has not been possible to go and test out our new sail wardrobe but we are planning to set sail first thing in the morning before the breeze fills in.
There are rumors that the race start may be delayed due to high winds but until that is confirmed we will assume that out first start is on Sunday as we begin out race around Corsica. It looks set to provide some challenging wind conditions and potentially a busy fordeck team. More reports from the race course to follow but in the meantime for further information check out www.corsica-classic.com