Mother and daughter from Ilkley battle tough conditions in treacherous yacht race (From Wharfedale Observer)
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Mother and daughter from Ilkley battle tough conditions in treacherous yacht race
11:00am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Local news
An intrepid mother and daughter from Ilkley are safely home after completing a trecherous yacht race.
Jane and Carla Butterworth had to contend with a power cut which left their yacht in darkness, as they tackled choppy seas on the Fastnet yacht race last week.
The mother and daughter duo were part of the crew of racing yacht Hot Stuff, one of 380 vessels battling it out in a testing 608-nautical mile route from Plymouth, along the south coast of England, to the Fastnet Rock – which lies at the southern point of Ireland – then back to Plymouth.
The main focus at the start, says Mrs Butterworth, was avoiding a collision, as all the yachts grappled for the best positions.
The wind was blowing strong, but the sun was shining as the yachts flew past the Needles rocks off the Isle of Wight.
“It continued to be windy and choppy and we had to get used to living life at a 90 degree angle, hanging on to anything we could in order to carry out everyday tasks.
“Dressing, cooking and the loo were all a challenge,” she said.
Things were going well, until the eve of the second day, when the yacht suddenly lost all power.
Mrs Butterworth said: “This meant we were half an hour from total darkness, with no lighting, navigation equipment wind speed and direction monitors, or depth readings.
“The emergency navigation lights were found and strapped to the sides and back of the yacht and a head torch was taped to the compass on deck. We had enough battery to call in a mayday if we needed to.”
The rest of the race was all done using traditional map and compass readings, with the crew needing to use torches below deck. In a race to dodge a fishing boat which was making its way towards the yacht at speed, the crew needed to change course quickly – resulting in the skipper and another crew member injuring their hands. Both later needed hospital treatment.
“We rounded the Fastnet rock later the following day and spirits were lifted,” said Mrs Butterworth. “We had dolphins escorting us around the Irish coast and beyond the rock itself.”
Mrs Butterworth added that, despite the tough conditions, they could not wait to all sail together again soon.
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