Yesterday afternoon, in Class 1 British sailor Emma Richards on Pindar had overtaken Thierry Dubois on Solidaires and established a firm 17 miles lead over the French skipper in second place again.
It hasn't been easy as Emma reported in her email. "Every single mile is hard work. The wind is all over the place when there is any, and each time you think there is a clear patch so you can nap for half an hour, you never get to sleep before something wakes you first and you have to trim sails or tack the boat."
whatever Emma is doing is paying dividends and she must be happy with her performance.
Leader Bernard Stamm reported in from Bobst Group-Armor Lux that he has 'touch wood' found a way out of the Doldrums, and is currently sailing upwind at 10 knots again.
"Statistically, the Doldrums are the most narrow at around 26 degrees West. The more to the West you position yourself, the better chance you have to pass through without any real problems, however you are then not so well placed to catch the Southern Trades. So it's all about finding a happy compromise."
Coming up from the rear at pace is Graham Dalton on Hexagon, who has covered the most mileage in 24hrs: "I've turned south again, and for the last eight hours, I've been making good progress at about 13 to 16 knots. At this rate, I hope to quickly swallow up the miles between 'Hexagon' and the leaders. The new breeze out of the Doldrums will come out of the west, and I'll be there ready to take it; I have a good angle to the wind and this will help me. Though the winds will inevitably lighten up, I probably have at least another good twelve hours."
In Class 2 Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada has once again overtaken Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal and moved into second place. The two skippers have been see-sawing back and forth with Spirit of Canada currently ahead. The fluctuating wind is the cause of the position changes as Tim Kent discussed in his email. "I am completely bored - no wind, at least a dozen tacks and gybes in the last four hours - all for at least 100 yards of progress. I'm now measuring success in the same increments that they use in Monday Night Football."
While Derek and Tim trade places, Class 2 leader Brad van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America is sailing through the Canary Islands. The wind is very light and although it was not Brad's intentions to sail through the island group, the light winds have given him no option. Instead of fretting about his predicament, Brad is instead making the most of it and enjoying the view. He also took the time to send a great image and email: "As I write this dispatch I sit within the wind shadow of Tenerife in the Canaries Islands. The islands look spectacular and I just had a four-masted square-rigger motor out of the haze and I felt like I had gone through a time machine. I sat on deck staring at the spectacular sailing vessel as it went by imaging the boom time for these ships when the responsibility of the world's burgeoning trade industry rested squarely on their massive frames. A truly awesome sight in a truly spectacular setting!"
Positions at 1400 UTC 29th October 2002
Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF
1. Bobst Group Armor-Lux 2 31.603 N 24 09.889 W 8.09 kt 198 °T 4145.38 nm
2. Pindar 5 04.400 N 22 12.240 W 4.94 kt 182 °T 4310.48 nm
3. Solidaires 5 08.160 N 20 47.320 W 2.61 kt 126 °T 4327.51 nm
4. Hexagon 7 22.760 N 26 09.480 W 10.79 kt 179 °T 4429.71 nm
5. Ocean Planet 29 50.040 N 13 00.720 W 6.28 kt 228 °T 5972.03 nm
6. Tiscali 43 27.320 N 8 21.000 W 0.00 kt 0 °T 6799.83 nm
Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF
1. Tommy Hilfiger 28 31.880 N 16 04.560 W 7.54 kt 181 °T 5831.25 nm
2. Spirit of Canada 30 31.680 N 13 51.400 W 4.88 kt 211 °T 5988.90 nm
3. Everest Horizontal 30 15.229 N 12 55.329 W 3.76 kt 233 °T 5996.43 nm
4. BTC Velocity 30 53.425 N 14 06.519 W 6.39 kt 221 °T 6002.73 nm
5. Spirit of yukoh 31 52.280 N 15 55.000 W 2.02 kt 188 °T 6019.03 nm
6. Bayer Ascensia 32 37.800 N 14 21.160 W 3.77 kt 182 °T 6092.09 nm