Race 14, Day 6: Unpredictable winds challenge crews as air and sea temperatures drop

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Conditions are testing the crews with headsail changes taking place on the foredeck in 3 metre waves amidst changeable winds.

The crews are also on iceberg watch and regularly monitoring the water temperature as they near an area known for drifting ice floating down through the Labrador Current.

The boats at the front of the fleet are experiencing stronger wind of around 30 knots after it veered round to the north after a series of frontal squalls 36 hours ago.

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, currently in sixth, said: “The conditions have been very testing with the wind changing strength and direction making the crew’s job doubly hard as they continuously adjust the sail plan to match the conditions.

“Earlier this morning the graph function on the Garmin radar/chart plotter showed the wind strength going from 8 knots to 25 knots in a regular pattern of about 15 minutes. As soon as we had identified this we could prepare to put in reefs and shake them out.” 

Chris Hollis, skipper of PSP Logistics, in eighth position, said: “The wind at the moment is really all over the shop. It is shifting 40 degrees in a matter of seconds, and dropping and increasing up 15 knots in an instant. 

“All this makes it very hard to set the sails for a desired course. The helms are doing a great job in guiding us through the conditions. We are pushing the boat hard to keep pace, or rather, outpace our rivals. One boat in particular is Jamaica Get All Right, whom schedule after schedule is posting big numbers. I don’t know what they are doing there, but they are doing it right at the moment.”

To track the fleet's progress, click here.

To read all the skipper reports, click here.

To read the crew diaries, click here.



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