Glorious sailing, boring racing

The blast reaching drag race north west to Barbuda continues

Thursday March 21st 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Reaching Through Life - Dee Smith reports from Amer Sports One

Reaching through life is what it is all about out here in the tropics. The temperature is the same; the wind is very steady, both in direction and speed. The boats are all lined up in a pretty parade of follow the leader. Only problem for us is we are not the leader. Leaving the northeast corner of Brazil, we have made a comeback of passing two boats. News Corp was 22 miles ahead and now they are 27 behind. That was our real goal at the corner, to pass News Corp.

The leading boats were always going to get richer, they have increased their lead from 50 miles to over 150. SEB had a five-mile lead at the corner, took a different route, closer to the shore and gained on class B (fourth through eights place). At one point, they were over 60 miles ahead; we have cut it down to 37.

The three leading boats, illbruck, ASSA ABLOY and Tyco have sailed a hell of a race. It is still not clear who will end up winning. If illbruckdoes hold onto the lead to the finish, the rest of us will be sailing for
second place the rest of the regatta. ASSA ABLOY looks to pick up at least the two points they are behind us and Tyco will be in the hunt for second also. We will keep pushing and wait for an opportunity to make some gains around the islands. We are hoping to grab a fourth out of this leg.

The most fun is dodging the flying fish at night. Nico [Chris Nicholson] got slimed twice last night. Sailing at 14 knot and the fish flying at eight knots the other way, can cause a bit of pain if hit in the wrong place.

This is such a drastic change from the last leg for the boys (I missed leg four). Some of the frozen toenails are falling off. The crew thinks sailing around at 14 knots is snail's pace. There are enough complaints of being too hot to think they enjoyed the cold. Pretty easy watches, not having to look for ice or worry about anything breaking. For me, it is great to be out here again with the boys. After Miami, there will be four legs to go and only 7000 miles to sail - the race will end before we know it.

Dee Smith

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