BT Global Challenge - Leg 1 - 15th 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. They've dropped from their leading position yesterday, but are still pushing hard. Andy Magrath, LG FLATRON, Friday, 15th September, 2000 "It's day six and we're in second position behind Spirit of Hong Kong. We just had an excellent run over the last sixhours and we're only ten miles behind the leaders and were the fastest boat in the fleet. After a period of very little wind, the breeze slowly began to build yesterday morning while I was on deck. It was fascinating watching the numbers build as we slowly began to pick up speed. By the afternoon we were flying along under number one yankee staysail, and full main. The principal roles on deck when sailing upwind under these conditions - after you have trimmed the headsails - are helm and main trimmer. These two crew members are constantly talking to each other as the breeze builds and falls - the apparent wind, boatspeed and wind speed are constantly observed. Every fraction of a knot counts and the concentration on the helm is everything. We limit ourselves to 30 minutes on the helm at a time, and even that is incredibly tiring, not physically but mentally, as we push ourselves harder and harder. Any spare bodies are on the rail, any weight to windward helps, and the pressure to do well never relents. Our watch system runs as follows: 0800-to-1400, 1400-to-2000, 2000-to-0000, 0000-to-0400, 0400-to-0800 - the two watches swopping at each break. Conrad (skipper) and Cian (navigator) do four hours on and four hours off, in rotation, starting at 0800. When we're below decks we're hot bunking - which means that we always sleep on the optimal side. If the boat tacks we swop sides

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