Marco Nannini on the GOR: First two days

Marco Nannini on the GOR: First two days

Thursday April 5 2012 Author: Marco Nannini Location: none selected

We've been at sea for two days, i wrote an earlier update which somehow was never sent so here is a summary of our start of the fourth leg of the Global Ocean Race, Punta del Este Uruguay to Charleston US.

The start in Punta was relatively quiet although I was a bit annoyed with the spectators boat all over the starting area but all was well once we got off. Whilst Cessna was first over the line Phesheya took a spectacular shortcut between a rocky reef and the beach at the southern tip of the Punta del Este peninsula and the two boats were soon in the lead with Sec Hayai in third and us trailing behind. We had decided to take things easy at the start and keep calm as in fact Sergio and I had never sailed together before (if you discount the 200 meters trip to the fuel dock on thursday). In fact there hasnt been a single leg where we did a good start and once more we faced the familiar task of hunting down those ahead and try to take advantage of any opportunity to pass.

We sailed all day in very light winds with Sec Hayai and Phesheya really close by and Cessna still visible on the horizon. As Sec Hayai has only just rejoined the race after the dismasting in Cape Town is very far behind on the overall points ranking so we decided to go hunting for Phesheya. Just before sunset we managed to pass them a first time, but to be fair we were so close that if they had wanted to throw Cape Crisp apples at us we'd have been an easy target.

During the night we sailed very close to the brazilian shore so we tacked out with land very closed ahead in about 10 meters of water. Phesheya followed suit but soon after decided to tack inshore again. We were faced with a dilemma, tack north again to cover them or follow our own tactics. After some discussion we decide we didnt want to be cornered with the shore to one side limiting our options so we continued offshore. During the next day we saw an opportunity to gain a few miles to the north and the overall result has been very pleasing, we're now in second place overall with a decent 15 miles lead over Phesheya.

Unsurprisingly we are trailing Cessna, the only latest generation boat left in the fleet, who's led since the start, we know we have little chance to beat them this leg, they will be much faster especially after the doldrums, but we'll always be ready to take advantage of any opportunity to tease them which may come. For now our priority is to
preserve our position ahead of Sec Hayai and Phesheya, we are thre identical boats that came out of the same mould so it's particularly exciting to have our little race within the race.

As i write the wind has started to increase above 20 knots, there's a front with up to 30 knots of wind heading our way. After the front we should be able to enjoy some downwind sailing but there's plenty of tricky light airs after that so the deck of cards is still thick, with plenty of hands to be dealt still, we've only just begun!

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