By Brian Hancock
There is a sausage sandwich coming up for the middle of the fleet as they make their way across the Southern Ocean, but it looks like it might just turn in a Monday brunch. The low that has been pursuing them is going to turn into some good old westerlies and life will be good. That’s why they paid the entry fee. Just a normal day in the good old south. Break out the Eggs Benedict and that hidden hip flask of gin and ride the high seas. You have to love life.
Good for them, but not for Ms Tabarly and her crew on Pen Duick VI who it seems to me might be on a Christmas shopping spree in South Australia (don’t get mad at me – it’s a joke). But seriously, they have lost the plot, but as I have said before, there is still a lot of runway ahead and the Tasman Sea can dish up all sorts of delights including a strong southbound current.
The Bass Strait, where Pen Duick VI is currently wobbling (nautical term) at around 7 knots, can sometimes be brutal. I know this because I have sailed there, but sometimes it can be as gentle as a baby’s breath and this is the predicament that Pen Duick finds themselves in. There is no baby and there is very little breath. This is an aside and if you don’t like my asides, just fast forward through them. I did, well Sally and I did go and see Jethro Tull the other night. He ended with Locomotive Breath. Absolutely awesome show and all this time I thought that he was dead. Ian Anderson that is, not his music.
To my eye, for what it’s worth, Spirit of Helsinki and Maiden are situated the best to at least enter the Tasman Sea. They are going to find some light stuff and then some moderate northerlies but being further north of Translated 9 they will have a better wind angle and with a better wind angle, they should have better speed. Time will tell.
Someone asked about Outlaw. What can I say. They are outlaws. Skipper Campbell Mackie is delivering the goods. I personally think that he is slowing things down so that he doesn’t have to buy the crew Christmas presents.
OK, I have already rattled on about stuff not relevant to the race, but back to my trip hitch-hiking across Australia. The Bedford truck broke down just outside of Kalgoorlie (Google it – it’s a fine place, but not a good place to break down…). More coming up which involves another kangaroo.
Sterna and Explorer are enjoying some champagne sailing (if you like your champagne cold). They are in a good weather pattern but might it become a bit unglued in the next couple of days, especially if they dip south into the good soup.
Looks to me like Translated 9 is going to get a boost going into the Tasman Sea. There is a small high pressure system, and remember high pressure means beach and bikinis, but of they get it right, they can get a slingsot under they system and be halfway across the Tasman before they know it. “Life hey,” as my friend Don McIntyre (and OGR Race Director) likes to say. “Life hey – Happy Sunday.”