In a mixed day of wind conditions for the fleet, a classic English legend seems to have played out. Consistent front runners Qingdao, Henri Lloyd and OneDLL are getting progressively richer, picking up bonus Scoring Gate points and expanding their lead following speedy surfs in strong winds that gusted between 50 to 60 knots.
OneDLL reported breaking the golden 300 miles in 24 hours milestone, though subsequent Race Office verification proved them to be close but just shy of the mark, with a confirmed 295.8 miles made between 2000 UTC Nov 11 and 2000 UTC Nov 12, 2013.
It wasn’t a good day for all leaders however as GREAT Britain skipper Simon Talbot described one of his most frustrating days yet. “We were in great shape to get third place through the Scoring Gate, having worked tirelessly to reel in OneDLL and with about six hours to go, we were just over two miles ahead of them on the straight line to the Scoring Gate when a day I would rather not repeat unfolded."
“We were hit on the beam by an 8 to 10 metre wave that crashed over the boat above boom height, knocking us onto our side to about 60 degrees of heel and throwing the on deck crew across the boat. Thankfully it seemed that apart from being a bit shaken up, battered and bruised, the crew were all ok. Unfortunately by the time we finally got back up to speed, we had lost some 30 miles to our quarry, but we are back on the hunt now and most importantly the crew and yacht are in one piece!”
Further back in the fleet, ‘Robin Hood’ teams, Mission Performance, Team Garmin, Old Pulteney and PSP Logistics found themselves in far poorer winds of 10 to 15 knots, with just 0.8 knots true wind being reported by Team Garmin at the time of writing which has hampered their progress most significantly.
Whilst most of these teams have welcomed the break from the strong winds and tiring conditions that have been experienced so far in Race 4, all are hoping more favourable winds will come their way during the next forecasted low pressure and allow them to rob back some of the miles from the richer teams, only in this version of the Robin Hood legend, they will be hoping not to keep the precious miles for themselves and not give them away again.
At 1000 UTC, Qingdao continues its lead of the fleet, (2630.4 miles to finish) Henri Lloyd remains in second place (2709.7) with OneDLL (2734.2) third.