By Brian Hancock
The Italian crew on Translated 9 are leading in the IRC (handicap division) and leading in the Flyer Class. You see I told you that pasta was a health food. They are third on distance to go but it’s the winning that counts; well the fun-o-meter also counts and the ladies on Maiden are having fun. They are second in IRC and 2nd in the Flyer Class and enjoying a fairly decent breeze from the north coming in over their port side. At last check they were doing a steady 6.6 knots. Probably not sunbathing weather but a good way for now to get them to Auckland. But there is still a long and bumpy road ahead.
The good (great) news is that Neptune have left Port Elizabeth, with, (and I don’t have first hand knowledge of this, a fixed rudder) and have rejoined the race at full speed. Skipper Tanneguy Raffray and his crew have a bone in their teeth and are smoking south with a fairly decent northeasterly wind. At last check they were averaging just under 10 knots, the fastest in the fleet. They have some distance to make up but as I might have mentioned before, there is a long way to go to New Zealand. Rock on friends, you can still have this.
White Shadow, a Swan 57 skippered by Jean-Christophe Petit is averaging a healthy 6.1 knots and L’Espirit d’Equipe a 100 miles ahead of them are doing a little better hitting the knot meter at 7.4 knots.
The fleet have had a fairly easy run so far. From what I can tell there has not been any serious breeze, well not enough to break a fingernail (yet). Looking at the Windy data on the Yellow Brick tracker I can see a fairly angry low pressure system trying to sneak up on them and that’s when the real fun will start, broken fingernails and all.
It’s a holiday here in the good old USofA so it may be time to break out the Bloody Marys and be thankful for a dry bed that doesn’t tip when you least expect it.