By Brian Hancock
OK let’s start with Explorer. It was either the fried fish sandwich at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town that had them turning around, or perhaps it was the issue with their roller furling gear; and a headsail which they might or might not have lost overboard. In any case, they are heading back to port to sort things out and it’s definitely the right decision. You can either take it on the chin and go back to dry land, which no sailor wants to do (despite the chipotle sauce on the fish sandwich). But it’s better that they not run the 7,000 or so miles to Auckland without a working genoa. They do have a working Yankee (not an oxymoron) but they will need the extra sail area especially as they get closer to Auckland. The Yankee is quite a bit smaller than a Genoa.
Remember they will still have to sail all the way under Australia to get there and I have a story about hitch-hiking across Australia which I will save for another day. These updates are not about me, but I need to make them a little entertaining every now and then.
Sterna is still stern-to in Mossel Baai. Well to be more clear they are still up on the hard dealing with rudder issues, while Godspeed, god help them, are probably into the Cape Town sherry and enjoying that beautiful place. They will be getting going soon. Probably next Monday.
Meanwhile Ms Tabarly and her crew on Pen Duick VI are still legging out, Maiden has taken a dip to the south looking for more wind and the threesome (now that’s not a nautical term) of Triana, Outlaw and Evrika are still enjoying their close battle. They seem to have invited Gialaina WithSecure to the party and less than a hundred miles (on distance to the finish) separates them. How much fun is that? They have all dipped their toes into the southern latitudes and are sniffing the air.
Speaking about air. As I think I mentioned before the air in the deep south is lot thicker than the air near the equator. It’s heavier, denser and if you (as in the crew) don’t pay attention, it’s a lot harder on sails. What might have felt like 20 knots at 20 degrees south, feels more like 30 knots once you get into that part of the world. Ask me, I am a sailmaker and that’s where we make our money.
The wet, wild and windy ride (sorry another threesome reference) for the front runners has turned into more of a pleasant day like sailing around San Francisco Bay and they are all booking along at a pleasant speed. Last check on the Yellow Brick tracker Translated 9 were doing a quite respectful 10.2 knots and Spirit of Helsinki were averaging around 9 knots. All is all it’s a good day to be sailing in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Sun is out. It’s unseasonably warm here and most of the leaves have been raked, well except for that huge tree in my neighbors yard that has yet to drop a single leaf. I might just blow the leaves back into his yard while he is at work. Enjoy your day.