The thing I love about sailboat racing is this; it’s a chess game full of potholes and land mines. Ask Marie Tabarly on Pen Duick VI. She, presumably, after consulting with her crew took their left hand turn for Cape Town yesterday, but the South Atlantic High (pressure system) was having none of it. She, and we have talked about why we call that particular High a she, decided to move a little to the south just to screw with Marie and the rest of the fleet that took the westerly option. They already had extra miles to sail going down the west side of the course, now they have even more fun days ahead.
However, and yes I am looking at the Yellow Brick tracker, I see a couple of boats that took the eastern side also having a bit of a challenging time. Just so you know I don’t mean any offence when I write these posts because a Godspeed fan (and quite rightly so) took umbridge (great word by the way) by my comment that they might not have gauged the distance between Southampton and Cape Town with enough accuracy. It’s a long way – I know that it is because I have sailed it a number of times. I am just trying to make up a story to keep people interested as the race goes on. Having said that, I think that Outlaw is lollygagging (another great word) a bit. And so by the way is Evrika. You either commit and take it on the chin, or you don’t. The eastern side option can be a beast but once you commit you have to commit – well at least that was what my first wife told me on our wedding day.
I don’t know if the easterly boats will benefit from the high moving south. Maybe in the short term they will, but Mrs. High will undoubtedly move north again at some point and that’s when the fun part will start. You’ve gotta keep in the breeze even it is on the nose rather than up the chuff (nautical term). If the high pressure moves over you it will be like a summer day on the Algarve coast if you know what I mean (a nod to my mate Ricardo there in Lisbon – hot days and no wind and perhaps time for a Vino Verde).
Here is my point; Evrika seem undecided. You have to pick a play and stick with it. They seem undecided or maybe I’m wrong. If you listened to my (current) wife I am always wrong. The rest of the fleet is trucking along just fine. Sunscreen out and hopefully clean underpants. It’s true, some of the sailors that I sailed with didn’t change them for the duration of an entire leg and that was around six weeks – true story.