As challenging upwind conditions continue to test the patience of the fleet, GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry ~Doire have been at loggerheads with each other in the last 24 hours, as the battle for first place in Race 8 -The Old Pulteney Navigator Cup rumbles on.
After GREAT Britain’s spectacular offshore gamble saw the UK team climb into first place yesterday, the Northern Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire has fought back eager to reclaim its earlier title in the race as the leader of the pack. With just a few miles separating the two teams, skipper Sean McCarter describes how the tight match racing is making Race 8 far from straight forward:
“After another good, if a little bumpy, night’s progress, we have tacked over and are heading south-west back towards the rhumb line. We currently have GREAT Britain below and ahead by about six miles and OneDLL behind by about the same distance. GREAT Britain was unlucky not to make better gains on the fleet but the bend in the wind we were hoping to find up here didn't materialise.”
The rest of the fleet continues to make progress as it contends with the strong current and light winds; but Team Garmin suffered a very frustrating 24 hours. Skipper Mark Burkes describes the testing conditions:
“We made good progress north and we were happy with our relative progress against Invest Africa. Then we approached Sumasuma Island and Awin Island. You see, they were in the way. So, I hear you say, tack around them then.
“That’s easier said than done. The current here is phenomenal. Tacking into it is like tacking into the Alderney Race on Spring tides! In other words, absolutely hopeless. We tacked and we tacked and we tacked some more, changed sail plans, short- tacked, took a run up, begged, and cried ourselves to hysteria...but nothing.”
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