Kingfisher facing stronger winds

Damage to mainsail when the spinnaker is taken 50 knots of breeze.

Sunday February 23rd 2003, Author: Kingfisher Challenges, Location: Transoceanic
From Kingfisher Challenges

Summary : 0700 GMT 23.2.03 (position taken at 06:48 GMT)
Position: 50 49'S 64 53'E (approx. location 185 miles SE of Kerguelen

Ahead/Behind the record: 17 hours 19 minutes Ahead of Orange (next waypoint on longitude of Cape Leeuwin 52 00'S 115 07'E)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 59 hours behind Geronimo

Boat speed: 23 knots
Course: 125
Wind 40 to 45 knots with more in the gusts

It's a beautiful Southern Ocean day... 45 knots of wind, cold and crisp blue sky, white water everywhere, and big long waves..."we're surfing down these long the troughs you can see nothing, its like a valley, on the peaks you feel like you can see or miles." commented Ellen.

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A couple of hours at slightly slower speed after a small amount of mainsail damage as the crew dropped the storm spinnaker in 50 knots of wind...the halyard caused a small rip in the main. Hendo and Ronny sent up to make the repair in situ, knife, glue, sticky sail cloth...2 hours later back at 100%...another DIY day in the Southern Ocean!

From Andrew Preece onboard:

We've just emerged from 24 very strange Southern Ocean hours, set the storm chute in 35 knots of true breeze and we're off at 25 knots plus in the direction we need to be going. Overnight we had been on the breeze with a staysail and later a storm jib as we plugged upwind into an awkward sea with the boat slowed down to stop it shaking itself to pieces. While we waited for an advancing low from the west, we were anxious not to slip any further south in case the low passed over us and battered us with up to 60 knot headwinds. You can imagine our relief when the wind began to free this morning before building to the mid 30s and were able to start making some miles; this part of the Indian Ocean, in the vicinity of the Kerguelen Islands, is notorious for its confused sea state that impedes our progress and limits our ablity to put our foot to the floor and notch up the miles that the wind speed and angle would now otherwise allow us to do.

The water temperature has been down at four degrees and until the wind freed this morning and warmed up, life on deck was bitterly cold and below it took me three hours inside a fleece bag, a sleeping bag and a Gortex liner, dressed in full thermals, to get warm during last night. But maybe I'm just soft!

I've been studying the bed time habits of the guests in the Hilton hull over the last week or so in order to try and improve my own technique and hence quality of life. I've observed a few interesting manouvres and techniques. Guillermo, Jason and Hendo seem to just climb into a sleeping bag - ususally almost before the previous occupant has vacated....

I caught Bruno with a tube of vaseline in his hand perched on the edge of his bunk yesterday evening (we had been wondering what the three tubes of vaseline were for in the heads). I was looking around for a victim until he told me he was planning to...

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Feedback: Do you think Kingfisher catch up with Geronimo's time to Cape Horn?

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