The eight yachts are having a good work out about 120 miles to the north of Cape Finisterre as the south-westerly gale force winds wind make their going tough and uncomfortable.
Conditions are however set to improve later today when the wind will veer (move clockwise) to the west hopefully allowing the boats to make this significant headland without tacking.
Adam Kyffin, Skipper of Liverpool has reported that crew member Vicky Margerrison was thrown across the cabin by the violent motion during a watch change and has bruised her back badly. After taking advice from the fleet doctor she is resting in her bunk and is as comfortable as can be expected in the conditions.
Liverpool Clipper is retiring from this race and heading for La Coruna in NW Spain where Vicky will be met and receive a medical check up. At 0500 this morning Liverpool had 130 miles to run to port and is expected to arrive early Sunday morning.
Unless one has sailed in these conditions it is difficult to appreciate that the unrelenting movement means that one has to hold on to the grab handles all the time. Once one is caught off balance there is a danger of being catapulted across the open spaces and coming to rest against a hard bit of boat. After a time it becomes a way of life but it is tiring and, if you lose your hand hold, it can be painful.
In this case Vicky was struggling to get her fowl weather clothing on before going up on deck; always a dangerous time. Hopefully Vicky will be quick to recover and be on the jetty to meet the fleet in Cascais.
On the sailing front Jersey leads London and the gaggle following at around 9' 20/30 West, namely Hong Kong, Bristol and Glasgow. Cape Town's charge to catch up has faltered as she has hit head winds. That leaves New York, currently in third place but well out to windward at 10' 34W. When speaking to Adam this morning, he simple said "New York have got this race."
He could be right but with over 400 miles to go in these conditions only one thing is for sure - nothing is certain!
Position Report at 0500 GMT, 02/11/02