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Day 5

By Brian Hancock

It’s a bit of a confused and confusing situation for the front runners of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. The champagne sailing has gone a little flat as headwinds have kicked in and the reality of racing a sailboat around the world has finally hit home. It’s a grunt and grind kind of situation as the nylon sails are stowed below and the heavy weather Dacron is hoisted. Yup that low pressure from the west has arrived and it’s now a slog to windward. And it’s only going to get a bit more interesting as the fleet moves south.

It’s an incredibly close race considering that the fleet has almost completed their first week at sea, In terms of distance to go only 140 miles separate Marie Tabarly and her crew on Pen Duick VI and French media entrepreneur Jean d’Arthuys on Triana, a much smaller Swan 53. The team on Triana are hanging in tenaciously looking for any kind of weakness in the boats ahead.

Yacht racing is a lot like playing chess. It’s a game of strategy with an ever changing board that can one day give you a pleasant day at the office, and the next a bit of a sh*t fight as a mounting breeze kicks in from the exact direction that you were planning to go. As this Leg 1 of the Ocean Globe Race plays itself out we will find out who is the chess master and who is just a pawn in a big playing field. NOTE: L’Esprit d’équipe has just broken from the mid-pack and is diving into the low to reach the strong westerlies.

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