Two days ago, I reported that there would be two chances for the fleet to overhaul us. It seems today is the first. We have currently fallen out of our southerly contingent breeze and eagerly await the northerlies that potentially reached the fleet many hours ago. Race Viewers at home will know better than I as to how the fleet is progressing, but likely, they are coming along the coast of Taiwan on a northerly breeze. We are sat offshore between our competitors and the mark, but the fear is they may circumnavigate past us before the pressure reaches us in around six hours. The next 12hours will be very telling indeed. This transition will mean that we won't be able to beat WTC Logistics in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint but that’s ok, as we will get two points for turning up. Hopefully the breeze won’t be too long coming to us over the afternoon/evening.
We last had a 60nm lead and are currently doing zero knots. Based on the fleet worst case scenario doing eight knots VMG (direction of mark given they may not be able to point straight at it) we can afford approximately six hours of a windhole and no more, as this will take up our entire lead. We are all eagerly awaiting to see the strength and direction of the new breeze, so we can continue planning the race around Virtual Mark (VM) Light and then onto the Scoring Gates. The chances of going to both are evaporating and at this rate I'll be over the moon to reach one with points. We are soon to get an update where we will learn how much progress our competition has made and our new forecast at 0700-0730UTC and this will give us a better idea of how long we will need to wait.
Morale on the boat is good and everyone has been really engaged. We have discussed money making ideas and corporations, Dirty Dancing, British comedy, right the way through from the Good Life, the Two Ronnies, Only Fools and Horses to modern programs like Catherine Tate and Little Britain. Lots of fun and some good attention to preparing different sails for hoisting immediately changing our minds, putting them away and hoisting something else. Still, that’s sailing for you.
I'm quite resigned to the conditions and the potential to lose some which is a nice place to be. I've known about it for a few days and so prepared for the situation mentally. Sometimes life’s a lottery. Poor Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam lost two positions in the last race at the end. It happens to us all.
Onwards we will keep optimising our sail plan for the prevailing and see where it gets us.