Ian Walker: Accursed rain clouds

Ian Walker: Accursed rain clouds

Saturday April 28 2012 Author: Ian Walker ADOR Location: none selected

24 hours ago we sailed up to Camper as it went dark and managed to roll over the top of them as the wind went very light and fickle. Little were we to know that two hours later, after we both got becalmed in a rain cloud, they would emerge 10 miles ahead. They must have wriggled into some wind before us and then extended as the new wind filled in on the other side of the transition.

It was particularly frustrating as we were to the north, where we believed the new wind would come first. Anyway, we have dusted ourselves down and been sailing upwind for 24 hours since. We managed to get east and cross Telefónica, but as we have all lined up on starboard they have slowly eaten up our lead and are extending to windward.

We know we are slow upwind so our aim is simple – try to stay in sight of them over the next 24 hours and hope that we will be fast when the wind frees up off Recife. PUMA and CAMPER should be launched well clear now, but there is still a lot of sailing to do. Miami is still nearly 4000 miles away.

One piece of good news is that we are ahead of Groupama and hopefully far enough ahead to hold on until the downwind section. This is quite a big achievement considering the speed at which they took off on day one. The conditions remain perfect out here with perfectly flat water, warm weather and clear skies. Only 36 more hours and it will be spinnakers up and Miami here we come.

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