By Brian Hancock
It’s a case of the rich getting richer. Isn’t that always the case speaking as a relatively broke sailor? What I mean by the rich getting richer is that the breakaway pack of Pen Duick VI, Maiden, Translated 9 and Spirit of Helsinki are increasing their lead over the rest of the fleet and the chasing pack of Neptune, Outlaw, Triana and L’Esprit d’équipe are having a hard time making any kind of dent in their dominance.
Still, I am sure that no one is complaining. Race Organiser Don McIntyre seems to have a direct line to the wind gods and they are dishing up beach weather. Don managed to get the rain to stop and the wind to kick in for the start, and now he has managed to pull of this kind of champagne sailing (without champagne, except possibly for the Americans on Godspeed) which is unreal. It’s a perfect way to ease into a circumnavigation.
Looking ahead, for the next few days at least, there is a changing weather pattern. For now the wind is ‘up the chuff’ as we liked to say, in other words from astern, and with is comes sunny skies, but our Windy App on the race website has a secret in store for them; headwinds. By tomorrow afternoon local time there will be a switch in direction of 180 deg and the boats will be close hauled, or hard on the wind as they say. This will slow the leaders allowing the chasers to make up some miles, but then they too will hit the new breeze and slow down as they deal with the hard graft of slogging to windward.
Cape Finisterre is either ahead or astern depending on where you are positioned and the next bit of land to deal with will be the Cape Verde Islands some 1,700 nautical miles to the south. Until then the sailors will hopefully stay dry and perhaps be chased by dolphins. See I told you that this sailing around the world thing is a piece of cake.