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Day 182

By Brian Hancock

If I was a scriptwriter I could not have written the script for Leg 4 of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Truthfully it looks like someone dropped a whole bowl of spaghetti on the floor and the cat walked through the middle of it. Let me explain.

The Rhumb Line is theoretically the shortest distance to sail between Punta del Este and Cowes, but it’s only a guideline. So far the wildcards and the vagaries of the wind gods made sure to throw in some curveballs and have so far dished up some strange weather for this leg. There is only one boat to the west of Rhumb, as sailors like to call it and that’s the flip flop wearing sailors on Sterna, but they are paying a price for it. The wind is light but at least it has swung to the south and they will likely have their biggest spinnaker set. They are still doing a very reasonable 6.7 knots. Evrika is on the Rhumb and doing 6.5 knots. Then there’s a pack consisting of White Shadow, Triana and Maiden who are all finally enjoying some champagne sailing with the wind up the chuff. By the way there is a great pub in Newport, Rhode Island called the Rhumb Line if you are ever that way, but I digress.

Moving further east we find L’Esprit d’équipe, Neptune, Galiana WithSecure and Outlaw are in good wind and probably finding some time to dry things out. Spirit of Helsinki have forged their own path and are making gains on the leaders. At last check they were just a single mile behind Maiden who are currently leading on a distance to finish (DTF) basis.

Now this is where I am a bit confused. Translated 9 and Pen Duick VI have forged their own paths sailing well to the east of the rest of the fleet. Perhaps both boats are sailing directly to the Mediterranean, PD VI especially; they are heading due east. I don’t know what they see that I don’t see. Don mentioned that PD VI might be thinking of taking the old Clipper Ship route but I am not clear how that’s going to play out. I will do some research and get back to you. Pen Duick VI is the only boat still in headwinds.

The good news is that the team on Evrika have fixed the furling unit and are back up to speed. They don’t have a solution for the bowsprit but this shows their ingenuity and persistence.

It’s going to get light and sticky in the next few days as the wind swings into the east or northeast depending where you are. Fair wind for all you great sailors in the OGR. Sail fast and sail safe.

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