The crews report on fog, rain and water creeping everywhere, but the Varuna crew of Hamburg's skipper Jens KELLINGHUSEN (GER) writes, 'After some 40 hours sailing through fog, the sight has improved a lot this afternoon. But we pay a price for this: It has started to rain. We are now waiting for a cold front to pass through with a fairly clear shift to the right.' The boats are now leaving the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and getting acquainted with the fresher temperatures of the North Atlantic.
'The northern most yachts will be the first to put on their gloves,' predicts weather expert Meeno SCHRADER (GER) from Kiel. 'The sharp northwesterly which the first yachts will sail in will bring down the felt temperatures dramatically to minus two degrees Celsius. It looks like it will be much less fun now,' explains SCHRADER. The Outsider crew reports, 'It's cold. We are close to Fair Isle off the coast of Scotland. Conditions are rough, and sailing this boat feels like breaking in a horse not used to its saddle yet. The waves of the Atlantic are relentlessly beating against our bow, with water gushing above deck and crew. What was only wet and uncomfortable in the Gulf Stream, is now also freezing cold.'
Meanwhile, the Parsifal III, with her 54 metres the biggest yacht of the fleet tries to catch up with the tail end of the fleet sailing towards Point Alpha, which the fastest yacht Rambler has rounded last night. The 90-foot racer of American owner George DAVID is being sailed by a professional crew led by skipper Ken READ (USA) and can show a top speed of more than 30 knots. Bon Bon, the third boat of the second group of the race is hard on her heels, but it is unlikely that any of these three boats will catch up with the fastest boats of the first start.