Hanging in there

News Corp and the supposedly slow Amer Sport One remain neck and neck into the Chesapeake

Wednesday April 17th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Navigator/co-skipper Mark Rudiger reports from Assa Abloy

Yesterday afternoon and last night was not a good one for Assa Abloy. I'm sure many of you are wondering what is going on.

Well for starters, we were doing great when the wind decided to let the boats behind compress into us somewhat. Then we sailed through a couple of current lines and picked up a load of weed on the keel, strut, and rudder. We tried to floss it off but finally had to stop and Richard dove in to pull it off. This we had to do twice!

Then after working ahead again, yours truly accidentally hit the wrong switch in the dark with the generator running and exploded a ballast line and almost sank the boat! Then in the middle of all this, we had to change sails in squalls in pitch black trying to cover three boats.

Then it went light, and although we have improved our light air performance, I think our bigger bulb on the keel hurts us a little in the light stuff.

Which brings me to Amer Sport One. Dalton has been on a crusade for some reason against German Frers and what a slow boat he designed. I doubt many of us out here or the media buy the propaganda or understand why he says it. The fact is that Amer Sports One has repeatedly sailed from behind up to the leaders and often right through or by them.

They did this again yesterday on several points of sail in multiple wind velocities. There is nothing wrong with their boat speed more than any boat in the fleet, which has strengths and weaknesses. When they are in the right place and have the right sail up, they do just fine.

djuice may be another story.

Anyway, now we just got an unbelievable wind shift from the north! The Gulf Stream has a way of creating its own weather, especially in a weak synoptic flow. We are gaining pretty good at the moment on the leaders, and maybe if we follow along this long cloud line to leeward, we can hold a little better breeze until the forecast southwesterly fills back in.

Until then, we are not setting any speed records and are struggling to finish before dark Wednesday. We don’t really care how long it takes however, as long as we win!

Cheers for now

Mark Rudi Rudiger

Chris Larsen (left) and Rudi look at the weather

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