Race 9, Day 2: First tactical decision as fleet splits in two

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The fleet has split early with the yachts trying to find different ways around the many islands, as well as dealing with an adverse current. 

OneDLL is currently leading the fleet, having left the Natuna group of islands to starboard in moderate winds. GREAT Britain is in second place, followed by Old Pulteney in third and Team Garmin in fourth. 

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, describes the past 24 hours’ racing on day 2 of the race to China. 

“Last night saw the first tactical decision, and this has split the fleet. After consulting Team Garmin's navigator we agreed to tack north with the first boats rather than continue sailing east as there was a chance we could sail through the lee of an island. As we are already struggling to match the other boats for speed we decided to give the island a wide berth. 

“The whole team is eagerly awaiting the next schedule to see if we have gained any advantage from this decision.” 

Rich Gould, skipper of Invest Africa, currently the most westerly boat, said a small wind shift came in and he opted to tack over.   

“We are currently making good speed and a reasonable heading which in turn is giving us a good return in Velocity Made Good (VMG).  I don’t expect that, at any point in this race, we will be able to sail directly where we would like to so it’s a balancing act between speed and course. 

“Invest Africa is well heeled over as she charges along through the gently building swell, the sun is still warming the backs of the on watch and the deck is relatively dry.  All in all life on board is quite pleasant, if a little leany!”

To read all the skipper reports click here 

To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here