With just over 35 miles now separating the entire fleet as it passes into Central American waters, the last 24 hours of Race 11 have seen very close match racing and thoughts now turn to the Scoring Gate and securing those all-important, 3, 2, 1 bonus points.
While positions on the leaderboard continue to change frequently, as just 12 miles now separate the top half of the fleet, forecasted light and fickle winds will test teams and disturb positions further as skipper of GREAT Britain, Simon Talbot details in his skipper report:
“Today saw us experiencing much more light and fickle wind, which in many ways offers some of the most challenging conditions that we experience on the race. Constant wind is relatively easy to deal with as you know what it is and can adjust your sail plan and helming to suit and then settle. However, light and fickle wind demands constant attention from both the helm and the trimmers, meaning that tiredness creeps in and focus soon drifts.”
Skipper of PSP Logistics, Chris Hollis who currently lies mid-fleet, knows that the next few days will provide some exciting tactical manoeuvres, as teams position themselves in preparation for the Scoring Gate: “As expected we saw our fleet position fall as we gybed south, however, the fleet is coming back together with only a 30 odd mile spread on distance to finish miles. The next couple days I think we will see a lots of tactical moves by the fleet to set up for the Scoring Gate, of which we hope we will score our first points of the series in.”
While the wind continues to change direction and speed frequently, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right Pete Stirling is taking full advantage of the changeable conditions to allow his new crew to get some much needed kite and evolution practise, while maximising even the most minimal amount of wind:
“The wind has been a little up and down over the course of the last 24 hours requiring us to peel between the heavy weight and medium weight spinnakers several times. Since the wind is coming from the north, west and is directly behind us for our desired course it has also been necessary for us to gybe several times.
“All these evolutions have been performed in a very slick manner and every day I grow more confident in the crew's ability to deal with pretty much any scenario that presents itself in a calm and efficient way.”
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