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Day 186

By Brian Hancock

There was a little bit of a switcheroo overnight, by the way switcheroo is a well used nautical term. I was asleep and not watching the YB tracker but I would like to think that the French team on L’Esprit d’équipe moved into first place in Line Honours, even for just an hour or so, but looming behind them all day yesterday was Ms Tabarly on Pen Duick VI averaging 3 or 4 knots faster and when I checked this morning, PDVI had a 9 mile lead, however, and this is the fun part of sailing. Both boats had passed Spirit of Helsinki but no more. The Finns, led by Jussi Paavoseppä have regained the top spot and are now 21 miles ahead of PDVI. That serpentine stretch of light winds was narrower to the west where SOH was and they snuck in and snuck out into the fresh breeze first. PDVI and L’Esprit d’équipe are still stuck doing around just over 3 knots respectively. They too will break free and then face phase 2; another serpent with no puff.

Looking ahead the weather is going to stay equally messy with some light winds, headwinds and for the lucky ones, a moderate easterly that will give them a boost toward the equator. There are a lot of holes between here and there, a bit like your grandma’s nightgown on a Sunday morning. At least she could chuck it and head to Walmart for a new one. The sailors of the OGR are going to have to stick with what they are dealt, but that’s the beauty of boat racing.

Word is that Maiden went through a heavy squall and were able to fill their water tanks from the runoff from the mainsail. That’s good news for now and there are going to be many more downpours as they make their way through the tropics. They are good for now and for a while, but once out of the ITCG (Intertropical Convergence Zone) things may go back to being a bit tense again. I did tell you that the Maidens are nothing if not resourceful.

The weekend is ahead. So is St Patrick’s Day (on Sunday) so I hope that the teams remembered to stock up with green beer. Have fun OGR sailors. This is what you signed up for.

Don’s Daily Tracker Update

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