The Trade Winds of the Indian Ocean are supposedly amongst the most reliable on the planet, but even here their strength can vary. The 2000 race produced tales of monster daily runs, high speed surfing and broken boats. In 1998 we had a distinct lack of wind (though were further north going to the Seychelles) whilst from the 1996 race Colin DE MOWBRAY delights in relating tales of their brush with a typhoon.
Nothing as dramatic this time, just good speeds and good sailing. Duty skipper Justin TAYLOR reports from Hong Kong that the wind is currently blowing 15knots from the east south east, giving them about 9 and a half knots reaching with the medium weight spinnaker. There have been a few squalls, just enough to keep the crews on their toes, and their sail changing skills will be finely tuned as they peel from one spinnaker to the other, occasionally dropping them altogether as a particularly heavy one goes through.
Bristol retain their lead but only just, and with 20 miles separating first from last the competition remains intense. Jersey and Hong Kong are neck and neck, if you can forget the 0.2 of a mile between them for a moment, with Cape Town just a mile behind New York who had a storming day yesterday and are now in 5th place. Liverpool are locked firmly to Bristol's heels whilst Glasgow has managed to get one up on London and is now in 7th place.
There has been some damage though. Hong Kong discovered a large rip in their lightweight kite, they reckon about 24 hours worth of repair time, and Cape Town have had to do some remedial work to the head of their AP (another name for medium weight meaning All Purpose). But the prize has to go to Jersey who managed to comprehensively damage a sail (though they have asked me not to say which one!), repair it, then do it again, and still hold on to third place.
But all may change. The area around Mauritius is showing a distinct lack of breeze, whilst just to the south there are strong winds from the west. Though this area is still a few days ahead, it could well shake things up a bit in this exceptionally close race.
|Pos||Yacht||Lat||Long||Dist to Finish||Dist to Leader||24 Hour Run||Prev Pos|
|1||Bristol||17 50S||82 47E||1441||0||202||1|
|2||Liverpool||17 42S||82 48E||1443||2.2||212||2|
|3||Jersey||18 13S||82 55E||1445.4||3.8||204||3|
|4||Hong Kong||17 43S||82 47E||1445.6||4||210||4|
|5||New York||17 20S||82 51E||1450||9||210||5|
|6||Cape Town||17 46S||82 57E||1451||10||204||6|
|7||Glasgow||17 38S||83 04E||1459||18||212||8|
|8||London||17 24S||83 04E||1462||20.5||203||7|