Ian Walker - happy man

Ian Walker - happy man

Saturday May 26 2012 Author: Ian Walker ADOR Location: none selected

There haven’t been that many occasions in this race when we have been able to look forward to the three hourly position reports but the last 12 hours has been an exception.

The light air reaching has been a condition where we seem to be able to hold our own against our rivals and our move to the north has paid handsome dividends. To be fair to Telefónica and Groupama, who look like they will be the biggest losers in the short term, it was a classic case of the fleet turning inside out.

The leaders further east could still potentially connect with westerly winds around the Azores High, whilst those further back had little chance to do so and the northerly option was far more open.

As things evolved everyone had to turn north and those behind that went first gained the most. So right now we are in a good race with CAMPER and PUMA for the lead, although as the wind has gone forward of the beam so their performance has increased relative to ours. They are breathing down our necks – one pulling bearing to leeward and one climbing up behind us.

The next day will be tough for us upwind but with the Gulf Stream to play and some big shifts approaching, positioning could be crucial. Somehow we need to hang in for the next 24 hours when conditions will once again open up and the fast downwind sail towards Lisbon will begin.

Life changes very little onboard Azzam whether we are in first or last. The routines stay the same as does the work rate but I can honestly say it is much more fun being in the lead this morning – long may it last!

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