Edging up the fleet

Phil Sharp reports from the Transat AG2R

Monday April 28th 2008, Author: Phil Sharp, Location: United Kingdom
Monday 28th April 2008
Phil Sharp and David Krizek onboard 'Atlantick FT'
Day 8 of the AG2R race from Concarneau to St Barth, West Indies
Time of position: 0500 GMT
Latitude: 33 19.26' N Longitude: 18 41.08' W
Average Speed: 11.2 knots
Miles to go: 2,543.00
Fleet position: 11
Miles Behind Leader: 80.4

Just over one week into the Transat AG2R with rations low on board, Phil Sharp and David Krizek have been reduced to eating any flying friends that happen to land on deck! Albeit seemingly willingly! 1,700 miles into the race, most of the fleet have passed the island of Madeira and the majority of them are heading out to the west, waiting to
dive south into the trade winds, with just four boats taking the southerly option. Phil Sharp had made the choice to go west and has been rewarded with a climb of six places in the ranking since last Friday's report!

Sharp reports: "One week into the start of the Transat AG2R and on Atlantik FT the island of Madeira is now behind us! After a very slow couple of days going downwind in light airs, we took a more westerly course in order to give us better wind and a better angle to Madeira last night. We had Sopra Team (Antoine Koch) in visual just in front of us Saturday afternoon, who soon gybed off to leave us the furthest west. This option paid off a treat, and Saturday night we had great breeze to notch up 201 miles over 24hrs, which doesn´t sound that spectacular but was the fastest in the race so far, and we managed to leap up 4 positions to 12 place and top half at last! We arrived at Porto Santo, the north-eastern island of Madeira, just in front of Lenze (Franck Le Gal), who are still currently nipping at our heels as I´m writing this, and we are now both heading on a westerly course out into the Atlantic. After over 1,000 miles of racing we are only 68 miles behind the leader, the fleet still being really tight, and routing strategy is going to be paramount over the week. The weather systems in the Atlantic are currently quite unusual and with a depression travelling quite far south, there are no Trade Winds to speak of that are accessible enough to tempt us south as yet. Instead, it looks like a northerly route is best for us so we´ll see what this has in store for us over the next couple of days - rain most probably.

"Life onboard has been pretty enjoyable actually for a boat with no luxuries such as toilet or running water. David and I are pretty upbeat about picking off some positions and are doing everything possible to help this continue. Last night was a good blast, fast conditions, in the pitch black, but we were both fairly well rested to be able to make the most of it. This morning we had a choice for breakfast of squid or swallow to reward our efforts, both of which appeared on the deck this morning having sadly not made it through the night. Given that we hadn't really had a choice of breakfast so far, as basically we don't have any, I went for fresh squid although David was less keen to tuck in, despite are limited rations. The best news about passing Madeira is we can tuck into our second saucisson of the trip, one of France's classic in fact and the best offshore sailing food - Le Baton Berger. You can't go to sea without it, you can steer with one hand whilst simultaneously consuming vast quantities of food with the other, whilst keeping the boat at max speed. Talking of which I better get back out there and get on with the job of getting into this Top 10!"

"Hope you continue to enjoy following the race. Phil"

Highlight of Day: For David this was apparently watching me eat the squid. Mine was for sure eating it.
Music highlights: Roxette (Phil), Pink Floyd (David)

Phil is sponsored by Dominion Fiduciary Services Ltd (DFSL) The Jersey based private trust administrator will become principle partner of Phil Sharp Racing with a view to supporting Sharp as he works towards his ultimate goal, an entry in the 2012 Vendée Globe.

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