Slow run home
In the mean time, the race for handicap honours is on. Gauteng-based Baleka is still clinging to her top handicap spot with Investec close on her keel.
Crew member Dave van der Spuy e-mailed: “As of yesterday we maintained the handicap lead, closely pursued by a spread of our competitors. Hot competition is Investec, also a Fast 42 yacht that seems hell-bent on getting ahead of us. Each day we plot all the boat positions and calculate how we are doing against our nearest rivals. It was interesting to note that some of the boats in our wake were at last picking up some of the winds that blew us on our way and that they were making better daily averages than we did.
We are pulling out all the stops to get round Trinidad and to Rio as fast as possible. Our current winds are good for our optimum sailing angles that deliver the best speed. Crew morale is high and we banter constantly about a variety of stuff. We calculate that we now have only some 7 more days to go, before we have Rio in sight. After rounding Trinidad, our speed of progress will depend a lot on winds and the coastal currents down
the Brazilian coastal plain,” wrote Dave van der Spuy.
Gawie Fagan and his three-strong crew continue to push the little 9-metre Suidoos 2 very hard and has moved back up into third position on handicap. Fagan and the German maxi Morning Glory have both passed Isle de Trinidade. Erwin Boulard from the Madiba Racing Team reported: “The excitement today came from spotting a whale in the morning. The flying fish continue to entertain with their flittering bursts of life out of the surface of the ocean, and then there was a white bird with a long tail, which must have come from the island of St Helena.
"With the increase in wind it's harder and harder to sleep between watches. At speeds of over 10 knots the boat starts humming, a bit like the sound of a stopping train. Everything vibrates. We lean at steep angles and all the lee cloths are up. Lee cloths are the mats we can clip on the side of the bunks so we don't fall out. They get a lot of work at the moment. From time to time I wake up with more of my weight in the lee cloth than on the bunk.”
Fifteen-year old Tessa Behrens, the youngest competitor in the race and only female on board the yacht Diel, sent a short e-mail reporting on their progress. Skipper Bernard Diebold and his crew, which includes six pupils from Reddam House, are hoping for an upset by upstaging the professional sailors and get a handicap win in class A. “There is a very competitive spirit in the air, trying to maintain our place in the handicap ratings.
Living with twelve males makes for interesting experiences, especially since we’re packed like sardines. Emergency sail changes in the middle of the night, with no moon, are memorable, but not much fun. There is a buzz of excitement on board as we near the island (Trinidade) and we can't wait to reach Rio,” wrote Tessa.
“During the night the new spinnaker (worth approximately R30 000) was blown to shreds. It was damaged so badly that we decided to dump it. In this same process, some of the halyards also sustained minor damage. We’re now hoping for 15-20 knot winds, as we only have the heavy bag left and it cannot be used in light winds. We’re are also currently sewing like mad to repair what was left of the Avery Berkel bag, which we tore earlier,” said Tessa.
|1||BALEKA||Fast 42||Alex Schon/Wolf Seitz||21||18.0||S||20||20.0||W||1294|
|2||INVESTEC||Fast 42||J McGraw/S Cumming||20||12.0||S||19||42.0||W||1329|
|3||BARRACUDA||Sun Magic||Nicola Amundsen||20||45.0||S||15||35.0||W||1559|
|4||SUIDOOS 2||RCOD (Mod)||Gawie Fagan||20||32.0||S||30||27.0||W||724|
|5||MADIBA RACING TEAM||Leisure 42||20||20.0||S||20||28.0||W||1285|
|7||MORNING GLORY||RP 80||Hasso Plattner||21||12.0||S||35||29.0||W||441|
|8||AUTO ATLANTIC T/Child||Lavranos 52||R & G Goldswain||20||52.0||S||22||59.0||W||1144|
|9||DALYS INSURANCE||Lavranos 80||Mike Daly||19||36.0||S||22||54.0||W||1153|
|10||HELSAL II||Adams 65||Bill Rawson||20||1.0||S||23||6.0||W||1138|
|11||JULIE III||Miura||Robin Green||20||33.0||S||24||36.0||W||1053|
|12||KONICA/MALLINICKS INDABA||Stadt 34||John Levin||19||56.0||S||26||10.0||W||967|
|13||MADAME PAZZAZZ||Far 38 Mod||M Skeen / G Hewitt||20||47.0||S||13||41.0||W||1666|
|14||VCR 90.6 FM||Gitana 43||G Boshoff / H Karolius||24||41.0||S||13||38.0||W||1693|
|15||FASCINATION OF POWER||Fast 42||John Martin||20||45.0||S||15||45.0||W||1550|
|17||INSPIA||Challenge 67||Derek Shuttleworth||21||26.0||S||14||38.0||W||1612|
|18||34 SOUTH @ KNYSNA||Dix 46||Theo Beens||22||1.0||S||10||59.0||W||1817|
|19||BIG REEF||Brian Sutherland||23||22.0||S||9||35.0||W||1899|
|20||FTI FLYER||Charger||Keith Mattison||20||28.0||S||21||17.0||W||1239|
|21||SCORPIO||Islander 51||H Oliphant / J Dickson||21||35.0||S||11||35.0||W||1783|
|22||SAFARI - CTW||Vicker 41||David Tideswell||22||30.0||S||22||5.0||W||1210|
|23||LOVE LIFE||Lello 78||Marion Cole||20||2.0||S||10||47.0||W||1831|
|NICATOR||Open 60 Cat||Klas Nylof||22||59.0||S||43||11.0||W|
|ADRENALINA PURA||Multi Cat||G Ehrensperger||22||19.0||S||40||37.0||W||148|
|AQUILA||H Rassy 42||Jon Thurlow||20||18.0||S||21||43.0||W||1215|
|ACALANTIS||Roberts 45||M Tattavitto||22||16.0||S||21||54.0||W||1216|
|CUMIN THRU||Barens S/Trad||Alexander Smith||21||5.0||S||13||16.0||W||1689|
|NAUTY 40S||Roberts 45||Falk Graser||21||17.0||S||15||50.0||W||1545|
|FORSDICKS BMW||Island Spirit||M Avelino/H Dopke||21||33.0||S||11||44.0||W||1774|