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2 December 2004, 10:51 am
Wind at Last!
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Innovation K2 in the Front Pack Pushing for St Lucia © Andrew Dare

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
St Lucia

What a relief for the crews as decent winds arrived bringing in reports of excellent sailing throughout the fleet.

'The midnight to 4am watch was a real dream of a ride, surfing along waves under gusts of up to 23 knots. At last, we've been waiting for wind like this for days, and slowly sloshing around the Atlantic to find it' said skipper Jason on Sea Biscuit.

Bob on Cat Taloo, struck a similar note in his log, describing the early morning watch 'It would be impossible for me to express how incredible it is out here. How we will ever survive back in London I don't know. The moon is out, the swell is running with us and the wind is on our back. We are running at 6.5 knots and the rum is getting closer.'

Desperate for that extra bit of speed, after a frustrating few days, Alan RUDGE on Songline has been testing an exciting new 'bat powered' rig. During today's daily rig inspection, a small brown bat was found hanging from the main mast, much to the surprise of the crew. Quite where the bat came from, or is heading to, remains a mystery as the unusually aquatic mammal has since flown off to look for another yacht!

Spirits were up all around the fleet. On board some yachts it was a case of 'Three cheers, and pass the champagne' crews celebrated the half-way mark. Any excuse for a morale boosting party, though this occasion is more exciting than most. Others were cracking the 1,000nm mark after ten slow days.

For the bigger yachts at the front of the fleet, the end is almost in sight. Leopard of London and Sojana have been playing tag almost all the way across and are still within a few miles of each other with 524nm and 541nm respectively left to reach Rodney Bay, St.Lucia. Current predicted ETA's for these two super-yachts are late afternoon local time on Friday to cross the finish line and claim their ice-cold rum punch celebration. Pushing hard on their heels are the 'big boys' of the RORC IRC Racing Division, with the Volvo 60's Amer Sports and Spirit just over 100nm astern and chasing hard for the line.

Jeremy Wyatt
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