By Brian Hancock
There is parking and then there is parking up. Pen Duick VI has/was parked up and it’s not a great thing; for them. But others in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race have made a meal out of it. It’s sailboat racing after all. Spirit of Helsinki is just a few more miles further away from Cape Town (22 to be exact) than PDVI and the Italians on Translated 9 are storming along as is Maiden. Translated 9 must have run out of pasta and (again) there are some good restaurants in Cape Town that serve pasta so keep your foot on the pedal and I will buy you dinner.
What happened here is this, and before I say anything (write) the boats in this race don’t get the sophisticated weather information that they rest of us can see. Its a retro race. They have to figure it out for themselves. To the south there has been a fairly strong low pressure cell and Spirit of Helsinki, Translated 9 and Maiden have riding the edge of it. Its a bit like riding a mechanical bull at a NASCAR race (I have done that – there is a video). The wind is from behind and they have had a squirt of speed. Unfortunately right ahead of them them all there is another pesky trough of very little wind. I know that its a cliché but when a horse can smell the barn it finds new legs. The front runners (on the water) can smell the barn but they are going to be tripped up for the next couple of days.
The ditherers are looking good. The eastern side of the South Atlantic is paying some dividends and except for the occasional wave (or flying fish) in the face, they seem to be trucking along. For Evrika and Outlaw it’s still hard on the nose.
When I wrote the other day that Godspeed were my favourites (and got some cr*p for it), I might just need to add that all the boats and the crews on this amazing adventure are my favourites. I am just telling the story. However, Godspeed need to find some favorable breeze otherwise they may be stuck in Cape Town long after the rest of the boats have left, headed for New Zealand.
Now I, like a lot of you am addicted to the Tracker. but I have to wonder what my friend Tapio, skipper of Galiana WithSecure is doing. Tapio, Cape Town is to your left, Brazil is to your right, the first leg of the OGR ends in Cape Town, not Rio. White Shadow, and now I know why they are called White Shadow, they are shadowing the fleet and moving along at a fairly decent clip.
I know that Sterna may still be suffering from a hangover – it was a cliff hanger but SA beat France by one point. Apologies for those that don’t appreciate the rugby references, but it was great match and the French should/might have won.
That’s it for today. I may, or may not have over served myself after SA beat France but there are still a few matches still to go. And there is still many miles of blue water to sail for many of the boats heading for South Africa. Watch out for the potholes.