By Brian Hancock
There has been some drama on the racecourse today. Well, if your idea of drama is a broken fingernail, this counts. The ladies aboard Maiden reported that they had run out of cheese. Dramatic news I know. But that begs the question; how could they possibly have run out of something so important so early in the race. Cheese after all is what make the world go around and if you are sailing around the world, then cheese is what you need. (I know that sounds a bit cheesy). So far it has accounted for Maiden‘s spectacular performance as the fiesty little 58-foot Bruce Farr design has been snapping at the heels of some of the much bigger yachts in the race.
But cheese loss aside, there is a lot going on in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. There is some great racing between a bevy of swans; yes I looked it up. Here is the exact definition: “A flock of noisy, honking swans swimming in the water is usually called a Bevy or Herd”. Thank you Google, but I was talking about four beautiful Swans that have been negotiating the wind shadow cast by the island of Madeira. First there is the Swan 57 White Shadow, a name which, by the way, I think is pure genius. White Shadow has to be an oxymoron. My shadow is always dark even at night when the moon is full. But I digress. White Shadow is just behind Explorer, a beautiful Swan 57 skippered by the legendary Captain Coconut, AKA Mark Sinclair, and just ahead of Evrika, a Swan 65 ketch skippered by Dominique Dubois. They are chundering along in perfect conditions just to the west of Madeira.
Then there are my favourites on Sterna. I know that I am not supposed to pick favorites (like my kids – Tom) in the race, but I can’t help myself. I am South African and other than the Americans on Godspeed, the South Africans on Sterna, a Swan 53, they are pushing the Fun-O-Meter as hard as it can be pushed.
Fun times aside, and by the way this is what the Ocean Globe Race is all about, there is some serious sailing still going on. The leaders, what I was calling the breakaway pack, have splintered, each sailing their own course down the African coast. Translated 9 dominates not in line honors but on handicap as they lead in the IRC class and the Flyer class. They have chosen to stay to the east and are enjoying the full beauty of the Portuguese trades, but there might be some trouble ahead. The Windy App on the Race Tracker shows some squishy weather ahead. Yes I know the squishy is not a nautical term but stick with me and we will see what happens. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the intrepid sailors on Godspeed are logging a round donut as they continue to fix their boom and, I guess, but cant be sure, enjoying the kind hospitality that Portugal is known for.