By Brian Hancock
Let’s just get started with this update. My birthday is just around the corner and I have a funny story for you. It will be my birthday present to you. But meanwhile there is some stuff (nautical term) going on out on the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race course. And some of it doesn’t look that good. I have previously mentioned my aunt after a few Chardonnays, and my uncle Windy after a good hot curry, but the fleet is heading into a hot pile of mess.
Now, as I have said before, this is a retro race, so the teams are not getting live weather info, so they are pretty much dabbing around in the dark with a wet sponge, but that pesky little high pressure is making itself known like a teenager at a tea party who hasn’t taken a shower in a week. There it sits all happy and smug, but unless the boats are going to dip south they are going to get an early birthday present; on me, and it’s not going to be that great. Unless you like beach weather. Well sort of. Beach weather in a fur coat.
The champs (in my opinion) are still Neptune and they went ‘South Young Man’ and they are booking it. Last check on the YB tracker they were doing 7 knots with a kick up the arse from a fairly decent northerly breeze. They will soon be slip sliding into a decent road that will take them to Cape Horn in fine style.
A quick shout out to the great Jeremy Bagshaw who is captaining Sterna. And doing great, and by the way Jeremy, I got a message from your mom Barbara. But having said that, who names a son Jeremy? I am named Brian – that’s bad enough, but Jeremy… 😊? Jeez, but she said to give you her love so if you are reading this, your mum loves you. So here we are, two bros giving each other some love. That’s what this awesome race is about.
I think that the crew on Spirit of Helsinki have been dabbing their rye bread into a vodka and olive oil mix and have taken a sharp right turn. Probably a good move, given that there is more wind below them than above them. They are doing 5.4 knots (YB tracker) but it’s a good move. Sometimes you just have to take it in the chin. Cape Horn is still a long way away and Punte de Este is a long way past Cape Horn. That’s the problem with an around the world yacht race. It’s a long way around the world and anything can happen.
Pen Duick VI is storming up behind Translated 9 and looking to be the first one at that amazing corner. Both boats are doing decent speed with a northeasterly wind coming over their port bow. They will both have to face that pesky high pressure system, but who knows it may shrivel and shrink before they get there (like me on my first date). Evrika has good wind and is doing just great. Maiden too, in fact all of the boats in this great race are doing well.
Personally I am a little disappointed. This was the leg when they were supposed to get pummelled by wind and waves, but so far it looks like a walk in the park for most of the fleet. Oh well, you can’t get all you wish for and I am just here looking at my neighbour chip ice off his car window, so there you go.