By Brian Hancock
Let’s talk about White Shadow. Other than the boat name being awesome, they are an interesting group of Spanish speaking sailors based out of Barcelona on the south coast of Spain with a mix of crew of all ages which I think is totally in the spirit of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. They are sailing in a decent southwesterly wind doing just under nine knots. White Shadow is a Swan 57 with Jean-Christophe Petit leading a very capable pack of competent sailors who have all just dipped their toes into the southern latitudes. They are at 41 degrees south and will soon hitch a ride on a northwesterly which will come their way in a few days, but they don’t know it yet. Remember that the boats don’t get live weather information like we do sitting on our couch eating McDonalds.
Ms Tabarly still has her foot on the gas and is currently leading in line honors, also in IRC and the Flyer class but not that far behind is Maiden skippered by Heather Thomas in second place so two women kicking some proverbial butt in this great adventure and that makes me happy. I have been a huge fan of women in sailing since I first started sailing and could never understand why more men didn’t see their talent (which in many cases was more than they had).
Translated 9 and Spirit of Helsinki are so close that could be throwing bananas at each other. At last check on the Yellow Brick (road) just ten miles separated them on a distance-to-go basis.
Sterna is trying to figure out how to get back on dry land to fix the hole in the hull that is letting water come in which is not supposed to happen. At first they were heading for Port Elizabeth but now it looks like they may be heading back to Cape Town. I can’t blame them, it’s an awesome city. They may run into our friends on Godspeed as they leave South Africa and head into the deep blue.
The weather ahead looks unsettled for the fleet. There is a good (good meaning bad) low pressure system coming up from behind that seems to be packing a punch, but if you signed up for an adventure, this is what you signed up for. Some cold wet waves and a whole lot of fun.