By Brian Hancock
I don’t know if anyone else out there is watching Yellowstone on TV. It’s on a few channels and I highly recommend it. There is a lot of bronco bucking and personally, having ridden a mechanical bull at a NASCAR race after a full English breakfast and a bottle of cold rosé, I can relate. Well sort of (it was before 8 in the morning). If you think that I have finally lost the plot, I haven’t. Looking at the Yellow Brick tracker I can see that most of the fleet are going to be or are already riding their own bronco. There is some big breeze and with big breeze comes big waves. So get read for a fun ride. This will be their version of the mechanical bull. (By the way I stayed on longer than more of the whipper snappers that came before and after me and what’s more, I didn’t throw up… ).
There is a fairly intense low pressure system rolling in like thunder just below the fleet. Ms Tabarly has moved south to get into the good stuff. I am pretty sure that she likes to mix it up just like her dad. So has Spirit of Helsinki, but the real winner winner chicken dinner is Triana skippered by Jean d’Arthuys who are cooking along at a steady 9 knots. It looks like they have crossed gybed with the outlaws on Outlaw who are also in the same strong wind. Both riding that mechanical bull and having the time of their lives.
Explorer is about to find a pothole, as in not much wind. Captain Coconut (aka to his other friends as Mark Sinclair) have dipped south after leaving Cape Town and are rambling along at a painful 3.6 knots while their friends on Sterna on the dock in Mossel Bay are battening down the hatches while a strong north easterly wind has them stuck to the dock. I told you that Leg 2 of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race was going to be a little of a challenge.
Most of the front of the fleet are finding out what the Roaring Forties mean, but I will be willing to bet that they don’t know this little fact. OK full disclosure, I plagiarised (and paraphrased) this from Wikipedia. It was first used by Dutch explorer Hendrik Brouwer who discovered in 1611 that going south effectively halved the duration of the trip from Europe to Java. ‘To run the easting down’ was the phrase used to describe the fast passages achieved in the Roaring Forties. Don’t you just love that phrase? ‘To run the easting down’. I live in Massachusetts and we sail down east to Maine when most people think that Maine is north on Massachusetts. It’s mostly to the east, but again I digress. (ADHD can he both a blessing and a curse).
There is a good old fashioned battle going between our friends on Maiden (well all the competitors are our friends), Spirit of Helsinki and Translated 9 with Maiden kicking some butt (nautical term). They are in the thick of it now so let’s see how the next few days play out. Meanwhile I have leaves to rake and my wife Sally is making meatloaf for dinner. Real meatloaf, not that freeze dried stuff.