It has become clear as to why ANTOINE made his dive south, the fleet have been at the mercy of a deep depression which is currently making it's way over the bulk of the yachts. WHITE reported that he was happily sailing along in 18 knots of wind under his genoa when it started to blow late yesterday. Before he could take the big sail down it had increased to 40 knots and he was forced to turn and run while he sorted out decreasing the sail area.
He said he was sailing at 20 knots in the wrong direction for longer than he would like but, it did not show after the positions were plotted back in The Royal Western race office, Plymouth, Great Britain. Others in the fleet have reported high winds and rough seas. Lia DITTON (GBR) on Shockwave said it had been very rough indeed and Richard HATTON (GBR) said it was blowing a gale and Chimp was rolling like a barrel. It is more a question of a bad sea state which is making the going a little harder today as most of the boats are in fact reporting winds averaging 26 knots.
Of the two boats that the race office had not heard from for several days only Tony WALDECK (GBR) on Adrienne May is still out of contact. Falmouth coast guard have been informed that his position has not been reported for four days and they have responded putting out an 'all ships'. But the other, Gerry HUGHES (GBR) on Quest, has given a position today and, considering he made a stop-over in Ireland to make electrical repairs, he is making good progress through the tail end of the fleet.