By Brian Hancock
It looks like a few of the boats in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race got their fingers a little singed by trying to cut too close to that high pressure system. High pressure means less wind but the temptation is great to sail the shortest distance as possible. Last check on the YB tracker I see the beautiful Swan 65 Evrika making a bolt for it (nautical term). They have gybed to the south in search of more wind, at least more steady wind. Dominique Dubois and his crew were (at last check) making just 5.3 knots, but that will change. They can gybe back anytime, but my (very) humble advice for them is to keep an eye on the barometer. If it starts to go up, hit the gybe button again and go further south in search of fresher air.
Translated 9 seems to have found a good lane and are leaving a few ripples in their wake. They are first in Line Honours and first in Flyer Class. That leftover spaghetti seems to be fueling them, plus those cannoli with vanilla custard and a little Grappa doesn’t hurt.
Right behind them are Neptune and Triana, who by the way are cooking with some kind of gas. Dunno what it is, but it seems to be working. (Oh, I guess it’s wind). Triana is a Swan 53, which is not a very big boat, but they must be sailing it brilliantly. They are 2nd in Line Honours, 1st in IRC and leading the Adventure Class. Must be the brie… They are French afterall. By the way Triana are only 27 miles astern of Translated 9, and they are 12 feet shorter in overall length. Must be the brie…
The maidens on Maiden are rocking it at 8.3 knots and must be feeling Marie Tabarly and her team breathing down their necks. I never liked that saying. Who breathes down someone’s neck other than Joe Biden and I am a democrat? Anyway, I just used the term (sorry). Only six miles separate them on a Distance to Finish (DTF) basis. What a race they are having. White Shadow are leading the Sayula Class. Galiana WithSecure are second in Adventure Class. The whole fleet is setting themselves up for a great weekend. The flat screen TVs (joke) will be cranking and there is cricket on, and ice hockey if you live up north.
Explorer have broken free of the windshadow thrown by mainland New Zealand and finally have some decent wind to count on. I think that they were sightseeing looking for a Kiwi bird when the wind crapped (sorry technical term) out, but they have been set free and making tracks in the right direction. In a few days they are going to find some serious breeze from the north and then let’s just see what happens.
That pesky high pressure that has been bothering some of the fleet has been heading to Weight Watchers and is shrinking in size. All good.
I don’t think that I have mentioned this before and if I have please forgive me, but it’s worth mentioning again. Sayula was the boat that won the very first Whitbread Round the World Race back in ’73/74. It was skippered by the Mexican sailor Ramón Carlín. He assembled a mishmash (nautical term) of sailors/adventurers and they won the whole damn thing. There is a great movie (almost as great as the Maiden movie – Tracy) called The Weekend Sailor. As the name implies, Carlín was a sailor who mostly sailed just on weekends. He was never close to being the favourite win, but he did. I know that I am generalising here but a shot of tequila once you get off watch can really help you sleep, and if you sleep well, you sail well when it’s your time to come back on deck and drive the boat.
If you want to binge this weekend buy a bottle of tequila and watch The Weekend Sailor, and a bottle of Pimms and watch Maiden. They are both awesome movies and you will be well into the spirit of this great race.
OK, gotta go, my car needs ice scraped off and my tequila and Pimms supplies need to be replenished. I know what I am doing this weekend.