With only 657 nautical miles to go to the finish of the Governor's Cup, race leader Our Dianne remains in a favourable position to take both line honours and the handicap victory in the fast downwind dash from Cape Town, South Africa to St Helena Island. Averaging a boat speed of over 7 knots and covering a respectable 182 nautical miles in the past 24 hours, skipper Billy LEISEGANG (RSA) looks set to repeat his handicap victories of the previous two races.
If Our Dianne
can maintain her current speeds, she could reach Jamestown within four days, which could see her finishing next Monday. However, the customary lull before the island can cause havoc in the run to the finish line and allow the rest of the fleet to catch up with her. The RMS St Helena carrying Governor Michael CLANCY, race officials as well as families of participants are expected in St Helena by tomorrow and preparations for the welcoming party will reach fever pitch. According to reports from the island, the 44 km² tropical paradise has been abuzz with excitement, specifically as four Saints are sailing on Patches
and Our Dianne
Swimlion and Aurora continue their chase of the leader logging 166 and 176 nautical miles respectively. In the Miura challenge, Diddakoi is still leading Patches with Tom BROWN's (RSA) Raging Bull chasing cautiously with their repaired rudder.
The yacht Allegro is still heading on a much more northerly course than the rest of the fleet and time will tell if this tactical gamble will pay off. Although she only covered 98 miles in the past 24 hours, radio operator Christine FARRINGTON (RSA) reported strengthening winds with choppy seas earlier today. Should the rest of the fleet become becalmed off the island, Allegro might be able to gain valuable miles by crossing over the top of the high pressure system.
The fleet has hit the traditional warm trade winds en route to the tropical island of St Helena and during the daily report described good sailing conditions with good south easterly breezes ranging from 10-20 knots.