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Day 202

By Brian Hancock

It’s a parade up the North Atlantic. Not quite an Easter parade but I would like to wish all those who celebrate a Happy Easter. Don’t eat too much chocolate, remember where you hid the eggs so that you don’t stumble upon them sometime later in the spring, and most of all enjoy the children. My grandson Emmet found himself sitting on the lap of a giant Easter bunny and was quite rightly freaked out. There is something a little bit creepy about sitting on the lap of a 6 foot bunny when you are at best, just three feet tall. I think that he’s cured from bunnies and chocolate for the foreseeable future and I can’t blame him.

There is news to report. Translated 9 is now firmly leading in IRC (which is a handicap system to see who’s in front overall given the different size boats competing in the OGR). They have through hard work, some great tactical sailing and pure diligence made it to the top spot not only in IRC but also in the Flyer Class. “Bon travail”.

There is still well over 2,000 miles to go to Cowes and anything can happen. Pen Duick VI have cut it close on a small high pressure system that has chartered its own course, but they look ok and should weather it just fine. Last YB tracker showed that Marie and her crew had covered 144 nautical miles. Not shabby, but also not that great. The Finns on Spirit of Helsinki are still on a charge but they too will have to deal with that pesky high spin-off.

I have a story for you. I did the ‘81/82 Whitbread on a Sparkman and Stevens 65 footer. The boat was originally Flyer and they won the ‘77/78 race in fine fashion. We were chugging up the Atlantic just as the OGR fleet is doing when we saw a small speck on the horizon behind. The speck got closer and after a day or so had caught up to us. It was Disque d’Or III skippered by the extremely talented Swiss sailor Pierre Fehlmann. Disque d’Or III is now Maiden (on her last passage). For a week the bloody boat sat on our hip and we couldn’t shake it even though we were seven feet longer with a longer waterline. It was one of Bruce Farr’s earlier offshore designs and what a yacht she turned out to be.

Short one today. Easter dinner of Cornish game hens glazed with honey and marmalade await. Enjoy the day, sail safe and sail fast. Most of the fleet are in the final stretch of this grand adventure.

Don’s Daily Tracker Update


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