A return to sanity
|1||illbruck||39 09.68N||059 10.80W||2585||84||18||464||0||0||49|
|2||Tyco||39 05.48N||059 36.84W||2606||83||17||461||21||3||34|
|3||Assa Abloy||38 54.16N||059 40.00W||2610||83||17||454||25||4||40|
|4||SEB||38 42.68N||059 50.80W||2621||90||17||444||36||9||26|
|5||News Corp||38 40.28N||059 54.76W||2625||91||16||440||40||12||35|
|6||Amer One||38 59.24N||060 01.00W||2625||79||17||446||40||3||35|
|7||djuice||38 42.40N||060 38.36W||2657||85||16||416||72||11||23|
|8||Amer Too||38 52.32N||061 56.36W||2715||70||14||388||130||20||10|
After the excitement of the earlier record breaking speeds things have started to quieten down a little. The fleet has now slowed to an average of under 18 knots. Still fast, but slower than the earlier average speed of just over 20 knots yesterday.
The reduction in speed is due to a steady decrease in the wind, with some boats now experiencing as little as 10 knots of breeze. This will be making living conditions onboard uncomfortable, as the sea state is still "rough," according to Amer Sports One navigator, Roger Nilson.
Aside from the excitement of a new 24 hour run record, the last 24 hours has taken its toll around the fleet, with everyone pushing hard. Amer Sport One, djuice and SEB all pushed a fraction too hard and have been frantically mending blown out sails, trying to get them back in good order.
Amidst the damage, illbruck has remained serene increasing her lead once again. She is now 21 miles ahead of Tyco in second place, who in turn is still managing to squeeze ahead and gain a little more distance over Assa Abloy.
Sounding remarkably relaxed at the start of his 24 hour record run Kostecki pointed out in an e-mail from the boat that such high speed sailing does come at a price. "The combination of 2-3 knot currents and top reaching speeds has allowed us to average these top speeds. Of course you have to pay the price...it is very wet on deck, constant fire hose spray. At least the water is very warm, around 24C at the moment."
Although the wind is going light for the leaders, there is plenty more breeze lining up further down the track and it seems likely that the front group will get to this at least as soon as the trailing pack. "The tactical choices are pretty wide open soon with a complex weather forecast and the Gulf Stream much harder to follow with many associated eddies and its own twist and turns," says Steve Hayles from onboard Tyco.
Keeping in the Gulf Stream will not be easy. Unlike the weather which is well charted in the North Atlantic, the Stream is not. As always, Mark Rudiger sums it up well. "The Stream is an amazing beast and even with tons of all the latest high tech data, it still has a mind of it's own, just like the other sides of Mother Nature. But with over 3000 miles to go, we can't get too worked up about it."
Expect the fleet to open up more as the weekend approaches. Lack of speed now could prove costly by the time La Rochelle hoves into view.