Fifth day of 500+ miles for Kingfisher2

Ellen and crew make up time on the clock

Tuesday February 18th 2003, Author: Kingfisher Challenges, Location: Transoceanic
From Kingfisher Challenges

Summary: 0700 GMT 18.2.03
Position: 41 55'S 17 33'E

Ahead/Behind the record: 1 hours 35 minutes behind Orange (using WP6)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 53 hours 24 minutes behind Geronimo (using WP6)

Boat speed: 23.5 knots

Kingfisher2 has made up eight hours on Orange's record and are now 1.5 hours behind after another 500+ mile day. There is a bit further to go until Kingfisher2 crosses Cape of Good Hope longitude at 18 28'E (ETA 1000GMT) - chance of bettering Orange's time passed in the early hours of this morning.

The crew sailed a blindingly fast day yesterday - the boats fifth 500+ mile 24-hour run in a row - broad reaching in 35 to 40 knots of wind, all day she managed to stay ahead of the front that was spinning off of the chasing low pressure system - at times averaging 26 knots over the ground.

Ellen on phone 0500GMT:

"Pretty tired... trying to decide what to do with the weather. There is a ridge to the right and we're sailing into a high pressure area with the low below us but pretty inactive. Sailing as high as we can until we decide when to gybe - all routing saying to stay a bit higher then gybe under ridge to get south. Bit frustrating that we had to sail round top of low yesterday but it was the best thing to do with the forecasted sea state - it was a big detour but the safer thing to do..."

Andrew Preece: The waves are so impressive you get a thrill from surfing them all day until the wind shifts by a few degrees and the wind/wave alignment goes out of whack which kills the fun and the speed instantaneously as the boat suddenly, from being an elegant, surfing, sliding beast, becomes a recalcitrant pig that needs to be wrestled at the wheel and slams uncomfortably into the oceanic confusion. That's when sleeping is impossible, when pouring drinks is impossible and when working in the media station or the nav station becomes difficult and precarious as you never quite know when the next one will strike...

Kevin McMeel: I have not often seen seas like this. They are majestic mountains of water which gradually overtake us as they roll unimpeded by any land mass in their journey eastward. The sun glints through the tops of them highlighting the green in the blue just before they turn a foamy white. They almost look delicate at that moment like the spun glass you might see in a craft store. They occasionally come aboard to remind me what it is like to be hit with a sheet of plywood and dragged to the end of your tether unless some solid object intervenes. They wipe away our tracks moments after we have passed...

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