The eight yachts have now settled down to their race routine as they claw south in the generally light and unsettled winds.
Most of the time the wind has been favourable but there is not much enthusiasm about the general overcast weather and poor visibility.
Jersey still retains the lead but what looked like a clean break now appears threatened by a fast run up the western side by Sam Fuller in New York. Last night as the rest of the fleet were edging their way south New York was coming down the left flank like a half back at full speed. She may be called New York and have stars and stripes on her side but the food on board has an English flavour - bangers and mash last night!
Bristol's early move to the east 36 hours ago after rounding Anglesey has resulted in a major tactical split that appears not to be working out at present. She has now slipped to 7th position and still remains on the east of the fleet. This may be a further disadvantage when the southerly winds arrive later this morning. Cape Town is back with the fleet after she had to put into Milford Haven where they spent several hours unravelling their prize spinnaker wrap. Although not the start they were looking for the good news is that their sail is undamaged and that the rest of the fleet were not sailing away from them all that fast. Although a tall order they can still catch up and will be in significantly different weather from the leaders.
Justin Taylor in Hong Kong has also benefited from being to the west and done magnificently to close right up on Jersey and to take third place after New York. Meanwhile Liverpool, London and Glasgow continue to chase Jersey down the middle of the pitch.
Although the weather has been fairly light and dull so far this will not last. As the next depression comes in the boats will soon start to experience southern winds which will gradually increase to 25 knots and more later on. The Bay of Biscay is always known as a bumpy ride and the next 48 hours will see the crews having some uncomfortable sailing as they force themselves on to the delights that await at the fabulous new marina at Cascais, just to the west of Lisbon.
Positions at 0500, 31/10/02