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Day 135

By Brian Hancock

I am going to double dip for the next couple of days, and if I may rise to a point of personal privilege, may I announce that it’s my birthday today; and tomorrow. Funny story, but we can come back to that.

Marie Tabarly and her crew on Pen Duick VI are starting to find their stride and are leading in line honors. Translated 9 have not given up the fight and the rest of the OGR fleet seem to be enjoying their ride and they slip and slide under that high pressure zone.

The thing about sailing is this, especially when you are playing on a global stage. It’s different from an afternoon race around the cans. I’m not saying that it’s better; just different. You have to try and plan ahead, but for the OGR fleet it’s trickier. They are not getting live weather information. They have to develop a sense of what’s coming up behind them or what’s happening ahead of them. I told you that it’s like a game of chess, only chess is easier. (Unless you are playing against Boris Spassky. Is he even still alive?).

Now back to my birthday. When I was a kid, back when birthdays really counted (these days we try and forget them), I had my birthday on January 25. In South Africa when you turn 16 you have to apply for an identity document called The Book of Life (bit of a fancy name if you ask me, but I digress). My dad was shuffling through his paperwork when I heard him say, “oh cr*p, we have been having your birthday on the wrong day. You were actually born on January 24.” So I celebrate on both days. You will see me here again tomorrow.

If you feel so inclined look me up on Amazon. I have written 19 books (not all are on Amazon). Drop a dime and buy a book. It would help a lot. If not, just leave a review. Make it up, but make it nice. It will help me rise in the Amazon ratings. Or if you like, my website is You can preview the books there. And thanks.

By the way I know that Tapio and his crew have been enjoying my first memoir (Spindrift) which has recently been released again as Two Bricks and a Tickey High (South Africans will get it).

Speaking of Tapio, they (as in Galiana WithSecure) are in a decent lane of wind and doing a more than respectable 8.9 knots (average) and covered close to 200 miles in the last 24 hours.

Here is the one to watch out for; Maiden. They are sliding down the rhumb line and will be skirting the edge of that pesky high pressure. Now let me explain (if I sound like a school teacher, I am not, but I am married to one). Not all high pressure is bad. If the wind is pomping (technical South African term) you have to reduce sail to manage things. If you hook the edge of the high you can get into some stable wind and fly full canvas. Just knowing how to manage it is hard but I am sure that Heather Thomas and her great crew of Maidens will be able to manage it. Let’s just see what happens. Meanwhile I am off to eat cake and that, by the way, is one food group that I have a hard time eating. I may just blow the candles out (all 66 of them) and pour myself a martini.

Don’s Daily Tracker Update


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