At long last, the mast is back in the boat, the electrics are connected up and we finally have the chance to put up the new Fasthosts branded mainsail and Solent. The carbon mainsail has been cut slightly higher to allow the boom to be raised about 30cm at the aft end, this is to allow for a canopy that we are having made to cover the forward end of the cockpit and give Alex some shelter from the elements.
The furling Solent features a unique halyard design which allows the sail to be dropped to the deck without having to go up the mast to release the lashing which was the original system employed.
The mainsail features 4 reefs so instead of dropping the main completely and hoisting a Try-sail, Alex can reduce the area of the mainsail to a minimal size to allow him to continue sailing in the storm conditions he is likely to encounter in the Southern Ocean.
‘I can’t wait to get out sailing again with the new sails – the yellow top on the main makes it so iconic as well, you should be able to spot it from miles away.’
Alex will be out training in the Solent and English Channel over the coming weeks in preparation for the Round the World Record in November. However he is off racing again at the end of April in Antigua Race Week.
‘There is still a lot to do with the boat and the systems. We have a few gremlins in the electronics to sort out which we are dealing with now. There is still a lot of fund raising to do as we still have a lot of equipment to source such as food, satellite time, more sails, and we have a wish list of kit which includes an extra hydro-generator and a heater!’