The Open Ocean 750 Sailing Catamaran, HQ², completed the Cape to Rio Yacht Race in 28 days and 6 hours.
The owner and his crew – eleven in total – essentially a bunch of friends having the ocean crossing of their life – had the most fantastic time, and the impressive catamaran weathered the hectic storms of the first two nights without incident, unlike many of the boats in the fleet who suffered bad damage and were forced to retire. This race has been a great testament to the impeccable build quality of Two Oceans Marine.
The following correspondence was received by the race office from HQ² on 15 January, 11 days into the race – it makes for great reading, and really sets the scene as to what a wonderful race this bunch of friends had together on this luxurious and impressive catamaran:
We have had an eventful 24 hours. At 15H00 on 13Jan14, with bated breath, we hoisted the repaired spinnaker. The sail filled, held and our speed picked up, there were cheers, celebratory drinks and a delicious supper.
At about mid-night the spinnaker once again tore, this time in about 8 Knots of apparent wind. The tear was not in any areas that had been repaired previously but higher up and parallel to the last tear. Not as much damage as last time so once again the area in front braai is full of spinnaker and Martin and Graham are hard at work stitching.
At about 11H00 there shouts of “strike” and the sound of the drags going. Martin was on one rod and Kyle on the other with fish on. Kyle lost his fish quite quickly but Martin was fighting his fish with Andre sitting next to him giving encouragement and advice. After about six minutes the line went slack and Martin reeled in the rapallar. At least Martin now knows what is like to fight a real fish instead of an empty milk bottle.
We have seen very little sea life (the odd flying fish), no other yachts or vessels and only a few birds which even the “Nguni Herdsman” (an expert on land) has been unable to identify. So at about 14H30 when the yell of “yacht to starboard” was heard from the flying deck there was quite a bit of excitement. We are not alone out here after all. She was Identified as the racing yacht Mussulo, a monohull also participating in the race. The chat between the yachts (over the radio) was limited as our Portuguese is non-existent and their English not so good. The chat was limited to letting each other know that we were ok. Then a little while later they contacted us again to ask if we needed anything since we had dropped our mainsail and were goose winging. We replied that we would like there spare spinnaker thank you, but they declined saying that they had also blown a spinnaker and were using their spare. They passed us quite closely as they tacked astern of us from starboard to port and the back from port to starboard. They have now disappeared over the horizon and we are once again alone on a flat sea with low wind speeds. We are averaging 5 knots an hour as I type. We will have significantly improve on this if we are all to make our flights home!
Supper is being prepared by Barry and Paul J and we all know Gren is on watch because we hear him yelling “Wind Angels give us a blast and make us go fast!” We are having lamb curry, poppadums, sambals and it smells awesome.
The only repairs have been to the port water maker which Ian successfully made a temporary fix on after making a call (via sat phone) to the manufacturers.
Love to all of you from HQ2
Official Cape to Rio Photographer Trevor Wilkins was amazed by how impressive HQ² is, when he boarded her to take photos on her arrival in Rio, and indeed at how tidy she was considering she has been the offshore home for a bunch of men for three weeks or so! Read his Cape to Rio blog entry here: http://www.cape2rio2014.com/index.php/item/296-trevor-wilkins-s-update-on-hq2-s-arrival
The full web album of all the pics of HQ²’s arrival in Rio can be viewed here
Thanks to Trevor Wilkins for the images