However, during the first night of the race, we caught a huge fishing net in the rudder and propeller. I ended up jumping overboard at night to clean the bottom after we realized we had a speed problem! You cannot believe what I found (see picture here of the offending nylon net and buoys)!!
The sad part for us was that the whole situation took place in light air and was much more complicated than we expected. As a result, it took place long enough for us to lose contact with the leaders and, unfortunately, delayed us from catching the next good breeze. Short delays, in a distance race, as you know, add more delays and more frustration!
The rest of the race became an uphill battle for our crew, but we never lost concentration and to catch back up with the leaders in the light air windward beat at the Lampedusa Island rounding. In fact, we were ahead of the J/122 ARTIE RTFX and near the J/122 OTRA VEZ. Then, we had one unfortunate tack that took us back out of the lead! In any case, it was a Herculean effort and we hope next time to have a little bit better luck!”