The wind is picking up, the barometer is dropping and the sea state will be increasing over the next day and the yachts are relishing the high speeds expected of the Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride.
Yesterday saw a full day of light wind beating, with Old Pulteney, GREAT Britain, Switzerland, OneDLL and Derry~Londonderry~Doire all headed south; crossing the narrow, strong and swift Agulhas current.
The bigger Yankee 2 sails are up and today a low pressure system is expected to hit, followed by a front which will come in fast and hard.
Qingdao is leading the fleet as of 8:00 UTC, followed by Henri Lloyd and Mission Performance.
Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, overall race leaders, said: “The Yankee 1 is down again so hopefully this means we have got through the lighter winds and it will continue to build from here on out.
“We are still tight reaching along with the wind expected to continue to lift us as we go. The race now is to see if we can get out past the Agulhas current before the weather turns foul later today. There is no desire to be in that area of current opposing wind where the westerly wind will kick up some steep seas. If we can get through that area while the wind is still out of the north, it will be a much smoother passage.”
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