By Brian Hancock
The deep dive south is underway as the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race fleet gets ready to dip their toes into some colder water. For now it’s all good as they truck along (technical term) searching for some sweet smelling wind coming off the Coromandel Peninsular which I think is New Zealand’s most eastern point. I guess that I could Google it but I have something else to say, and I am sure that you can’t stand all my digressions, but here you go, and after this I will get back to the race.
I have camped on the Coromandel. It’s beyond spectacular and when I camped there it was in a former life with a former wife, but again I digress (sorry). The thing I remember most were the Kauri trees. Now, for a small country they can sure grow some big trees. ‘The Kauri is the second-largest and second-longest living tree in the world. Kauri can live for over 1,000 years, its trunk expanding to over two metres in diameter.’ (thanks Wikipedia). But truthfully they are quite spectacular and a New Zealand treasure.
Back to the racing. Right now the wind is a little light. Marie Tabarly on Pen Duick VI is sliding down the slope at a very decent 9 knots, which is good given that the wind is fairly moderate. Translated 9 and Spirit of Helsinki are in hot pursuit, just 10 miles behind (astern I guess is the correct term). The thing about yacht racing is this, you can be doing the best you can until you can’t.
The wind gods trick you and your competitors can just sail around you, so let’s just wait and see. Marie is talented and they deserve to nail this leg just like her Dad would have done all those years ago.
Sterna, I love this team so much, (me being South African and all). They look like they are off on a sightseeing tour. There is no rugby on TV so that’s not a distraction but maybe I see what they are seeing. If they head further to the east there is more wind and they can pick up a decent Uber ride. I hope so. With Godspeed out of the race, I can only place my hard earned cash on Sterna. Miss Godspeed.
The middle pack are just doing fine. Neptune, Evrika, LSD (sorry it’s too much of a tricky name to type) Galiana WithSecure, White Shadow (easy one to write) and Neptune (even easier one to write) are all in the hunt and the crews are settling into the routine of this race. It’s a good way to go as they dip south. By the way I think that the YB Tracker might have been a little off yesterday when I mentioned that White Shadow was leading, but who knows, there are stranger things that happen out there.
So if you are ever in New Zealand visit the Coromandel and go camping. They have some structures set up around those beautiful Kauri trees that are off the ground (away from the night creatures that can nip at your toes) and you can pitch a tent and be (almost) the first see each new day arrive. How great is that? Good luck to all the sailors doing the OGR.
Hold on to your pants; the real fun will start soon.