Wet, wet, wet
Tyco is positioned right bang in the middle of the main pack all of who are enjoying, if that is the right word, blast reaching conditions. Though it may be fast, this is the wettest point of sail for a V.O.60 with solid walls of water regularly foaming back down the deck as the bow buries in the wave ahead. "Will not be sorry to see this part of the race gone," says Shoebridge, adding, "there are definitely better ways to enjoy yourself on a yacht."
This is a view echoed by Knut Frostad onboard djuice. "We have been so busy down here, trying to speed djuice up on this bloody tight and wet reaching. It's certainly not our favourite speed angle, and some painful position reports have again showed us that we need to get some westerlies soon, so we can catch up the few miles we have lost."
As has been pointed out many times before, losses and gains at this stage of the leg are of much less importance then strategic positioning on the track. To this end, six of the boats are all very close together with only the Amer Sport boats separated from the main bunch. Onboard Amer Sport One, Grant Dalton continues with his more northerly track, separated by some fifty miles from the main bulk of the fleet.
Though falling behind in the standings, Dalton's lonely course does offer some advantages. While the wind are lighter, they are also coming from a freer angle. While the rest of the fleet have been jib top reaching, Amer Sport One has managed to keep her kite up. The big question however is where will the next shift come from?
Further north, Dalton also has the advantage of a lower iceberg risk. Though the water temperature is still quite high, small growlers blown north by the wind have been sighted. Nick White, navigator and meteorologist aboard News Corp described it as "many small growler and fragments."
Amer Sports Too is also far to the north, and falling increasingly behind. Now sailing in significantly less wind than the leading yachts, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the all-women crew to catch up, with the boats ahead in stronger breeze ahead simply stretching their lead.
With the wind forecast to free and perhaps increase some more the days of the wild Southern Ocean ride are just beginning.
Page two.... Nick White reports from News Corp
Page three.... a small fire onboard djuice