BT Global Challenge - Leg 1 - 18th September


Madforsailing.com's diary writer, Andy Magrath, reports from LG FLATRON
Andy Magrath is one of our two diarists aboard the BT Global Challenge race leader, LG FLATRON. After worries about the southerly route they had taken, things are looking good again. Andy Magrath, LG FLATRON Monday, 18th September, 2000. The current course is 250 degrees, I'm sitting at the communications station and I can hear the helm talking to the spinnaker trimmers. We have the 1.5 ounce race spinnaker up in 14 knots of wind, we've just peeled it from the lightweight 0.75 ounce spinnaker. That involves me climbing out to the end of the spinnaker pole (15 feet), I free climb rather than use a halyard as it is much quicker. When I get there I clip myself to the end of the pole, and then fasten the tack of the new spinnaker to the end of the pole, so the others can hoist it. When the new spinnaker is up, I then have to release the tack of the old spinnaker, so it can be pulled down, before fastening the spinnaker gear to the tack of the new sail and releasing it from the pole. I've just finished lunch and soon I will be in my bunk. We are in first place with Spirit of Hong Kong 16 miles behind us in second. In the last 24 hours we sailed into the patch of high pressure that Conrad (skipper) and Cian (navigator) have been worrying about, and we experienced some light wind. But we are starting to come out the other side of it now. The hope is that although we expect the fleet to bunch up behind us in the short term, we will be first with this new breeze and pull out a commanding lead! The tactics for the race have gone well

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