Crew member on RSA23 Phesheya-Racing
Written by Crew member on RSA23 Phesheya-Racing Friday, 27 August 2010 11:32
Offshore South African duo enter the GOR via satellite phone
The South African, double-handed team of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire are currently racing their four year-old Akilaria Class40 Phesheya-Racing (ex-Clarke Offshore Racing, ex-Atao Audio Systems) in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race with an additional two crew; the Austrian duo of Peter Artenberg and Markus Hofstaetter. At 10:00 GMT this morning (26/08), Leggatt, Hutton-Squire and their crew were 150 miles east of Duncansby Head, the north-east tip of mainland Scotland, trailing the Class40 leader, Tom Gall and his crew on the new Akilaria RC2 Concise 2, by approximately 70 miles. Despite the demanding conditions, the duo took time to call the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) Race Organisation earlier today and announce their decision to enter the double-handed circumnavigation starting from Mallorca in 395 days time.Sounding on excellent form, 43 year-old Nick Leggatt explained the decision during a satellite phone call from the chart table of Phesheya-Racing: "I have wanted to do the race since the Portimão Global Ocean Race was run and now even more so because of the great new starting point at Mallorca," he told Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR. "Now we have been campaigning in Class40 for the season, we feel ready to take on the challenge," he continued, before passing the Iridium handset to his co-skipper, 28 year-old Phillippa Hutton-Squire. "When I was growing up, I was inspired and challenged by listening to my father tell stories of the female sailing legends such as Isabelle Autissier and her contemporaries," explains Hutton-Squire. "The Global Ocean Race is an opportunity to follow in their footsteps. It’s also a great honour to represent South Africa and the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town," she adds.
The Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race started with strong, downwind conditions in the The Solent on Monday and one of the three Class40s entered, Gottfried Poessl’s Celox 40, dismasted shortly after the start following dramatic backstay failure. "We feel very sorry for Celox 40 who lost their rig at the start after giving us so much help and support to get there ourselves," says Leggatt. "We really hope all are OK." Leggatt and Hutton-Squire opted to sail bareheaded in strong headwinds on Tuesday as the fleet entered the North Sea. On Wednesday, in decreasing NNW headwinds, the team on Phesheya-Racing changed up from storm jib to reefed staysail in steep, northerly seas.