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Day 7

By Brian Hancock

There are thumping good conditions for the whole fleet to celebrate their first full week at sea. They are well and truly into the meat of the race and that overcast and foggy day of the start in the Solent is a thing of the past. Right now all of the boats are enjoying winds ‘up the chuff’ or at least on the beam as they make rapid pace south.

Let’s talk about the South Africans for a bit. I can because this is my post and I am South African. They did try and capture me to join their crew but I strongly resisted, but maybe I was wrong. They are fending off the Americans on Godspeed and I am quite sure that they are having a blast working on their suntans and enjoying a rollicking beam reach down the coast of Africa. There is nothing to not like about their situation; they are living the dream. They are half a days sail astern of White Shadow, a Swan 57, and Evrika, another much larger Swan 65, both of them ketches sure to have their full wardrobe of sails flying to make the most of the warm breeze.

Meanwhile at the front of the fleet the breakaway pack is approaching the Portuguese island of Madeira. It’s a tricky situation. Land creates it’s own weather and if you are lucky, or skilled, you can get a boost from the local conditions, but buyer beware, Madeira throws a long wind shadow and, speaking from experience, you can sit for many frustrating hour waiting for a fresh breeze to save you from yourself.

Overnight Maiden and Translated 9 crossed paths showing just how close the racing is. From Maiden, “In a squally patch at the moment. Wind speed a direction very variable. Lot’s of trimming and concentration required”. It’s a boat race and as the fleet gets further into the tropics, they are going to experience more of the same squally conditions. Happy Sunday.

UPDATE: Stephane Raguenes, a crew member on board Triana slips on deck causing a severe leg injury. At 15:30 UTC Triana advised they would make for Las Palmas in the Canaries. They later altered course and are bound for either Madeira or Porto Santo, approximately 280 miles to the south west.

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