The Swedish trimaran Nicator passed the first landfall of the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 ocean race when they sailed around Isle de Trinidade earlier today.
With just over 800 miles to go to the Carnival City of Rio de Janeiro, the Swedes look set to break the line honours record of 18 days in the multi-hull class.
Skipper Klabbe Nylöf's unconventional tactics in terms of routing seems to have paid off. Nylöf kept the trimaran on a dramatic southerly course in comparison to his closest rivals and earlier during the race, it looked as if the huge high-pressure system in the South Atlantic would thwart his attempts to be first in Rio.
The Brazilian catamaran Adrenalin Pura is still trailing the trimaran by over a 100 miles, but should not be discarded yet as they're entering home waters and could make the most of the traditionally fickle conditions around Cabo Frio.
Derek Shuttleworth, skipper on board the yacht inspia!2041, reported an eventful past 24-hours. "We lost our spinnaker in the middle of the night and were fortunate in retrieving all the pieces. We even managed to get the masthead and halyard down without having to send anyone aloft although Zuco
(one of the loveLife groundBREAKERS on board) had volunteered immediately when he knew we had a problem,"
wrote Shuttleworth in his daily e-mail report.
"It was a very brave gesture from Zuko (Ngobozi) as the conditions in the dark were quite hazardous,and he earned everyone's admiration for his courage. We are now busy sewing the tatters together and hope that it will take the strain for the next week or so as we round the Island.
Our course is not ideal without it, but we are flying the asymmetric and are marginally holding course. Crew members Jackie (Bennett) and Nandi (Scorer) are now in the sweat shop sewing for all they are worth and we hope to have it back again by the end of the afternoon."
Glen Langridge on board the yacht Diel reported moderate 4-6 knots during the past two days, but mentioned that they have gone onto light trade winds again. Yesterday they played knight in shining armour to Falk Graser on Nauty 40's after the rally class entry lost all their diesel due to a leak in the tanks. "We chatted to them on VHF radio and found that they were down on power and had lost some of their food as well as their autopilot.
They were planning on putting in at Trinidade for fuel, but skipper Bernhard (Diebold) donated a drum of diesel, which we dumped overboard and they picked up astern. This should get them to Rio without further stops."
"We've also been experiencing some power problems, but I should be able to sort it out today. According to this morning's position report, we have made further gains and all are in high spirits at the moment. We've clocked the 1000 mile mark to the island and are approximately halfway to Rio at the moment. Given that we are essentially amateurs, we think that we're doing OK - especially since there are quite a few very experienced professionals behind us," wrote Langridge. The yacht is skippered by veteran sailor Bernhard Diebold with a crew consisting of amongst other two representatives from the sponsors Fruit & Veg as well as six students from Reddam House in Tokai.