Almost 2000nm in, and there is still only around 15nm between 4thand 8thplace. Over the last couple of days, timing of our gybes has been the never-ending conundrum: get the timing correct with a wind shift and you gain a couple of miles on the other three boats (our friends from the last race Washington DC, who have been joined by Our Isles and Oceans and Qingdao). In addition, knowing when to hold the bigger sails up and when to be conservative is a tricky balance, as a drop and re-hoist of the spinnaker means you're slow for around two hours.
However, as we have already experienced, holding out and getting it wrong can cost time doing the change but can also damage sails, handicapping us. It's nice to be out here constantly seeing the other boats pop us on AIS every so often knowing that we are all going though similar experiences and that if you ever need, they will be there to lend a hand.
The crew is loving the close racing, constantly wanting to know how we match up with speed, course and tactics with the other boats every time we see a sail on the horizon, it helps to boost the morale on board. It's great to see the two watches coming to together as a team learning with each evolution and handling these boats in the wide range of conditions that the roaring forties are throwing our way.
Dan, Laura and the team