It has certainly been a few days since we have seen such movement throughout the fleet. The winds have filled in and Jersey's 24 hour run of 131 miles is now the shortest, whilst Cape Town have pulled a massive 198 miles out of the bag.
A ridge of high pressure has caused Jersey's slower run, something the rest will now be approaching. As Skipper Simon ROWELL says "the wind was steady from the ESE for the first quarter of the day, and then veered gradually to the S as we progressed across the ridge of pressure to the WSW of the North Atlantic high. We now have 10-15 kts from the SSW, some clouds and a slight swell - fantastic!" He describes sailing over the ridge as "a fairly painful but unavoidable action".
Although the 24 hour run does not show it, Hong Kong have also slowed slightly in the last 12 hours and have lost a few miles as Jersey sail on in to the fresher breeze. Will this be repeated as the rest of the fleet cross the same hurdle?
Further back in the fleet Bristol reports seeing lots of seaweed as they pass through the area known as the Sargasso Sea. Although an interesting natural phenomena, a large clump around the keel or rudder could seriously affect ones performance so they will be keeping a sharp look out to try and avoid the heaviest patches.
Liverpool, Glasgow and Cape Town remain close, though Cape Town's western position seems to be giving them a slight edge. Glasgow skipper Rupert PARKHOUSE reports that the wind is currently a fairly steady force four from the east south east and that "all quite thankful that touchwood the breeze is holding up".
Meanwhile at the back of the fleet things have not been going so well. After engineering problems forced London to suspend racing whilst they took on extra fuel from nearby New York, the gremlins affecting them obviously decided to swap boats and have now struck on New York as well. As reported last night, an electrical short circuit in the generator caused a small fire in the generator space, totally melting the wiring system. The fire itself was not a problem as the generator space is a closed compartment with fire extinguishers for just such an eventuality, however it has meant that New York are now also unable to run their generator to charge batteries or power the water maker. They can charge batteries from their main engine, and have virtually full watertanks, however we have reluctantly taken the decision for both boats to stop off in Bermuda to take on extra fuel and water as a safety measure.
This short "pit stop" should cause very little disruption to the boats' course as the island is virtually on their route just over 500 miles to the north west. Although London has ceased racing, it is hoped that New York will continue racing to a point off Bermuda, and that both boats will then be able to recommence racing from Bermuda to New York. We will of course post further details on the website over the next few days.
London are currently not racing