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27 November 2003, 10:25 am
Fleet Settles Into Rythmn of the Sea
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© Patrick Roach

ARC 2003
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria - Rodney Bay

After the first bumpy few days, the ARC crews are settling into the rhythm of life at sea. Better weather and easier conditions have lifted spirits throughout the fleet. The rain squalls have eased and the sun has come out.
Daily logs now talk of happy hours in the cockpit and nice meals, instead of seasickness and damage.

Enjoyable sailing conditions are being reported, with winds from the ENE at 15 to 20 knots; sunshine and best of all no more foul-weather clothing to be worn as the rains have cleared. The Girls for Sail crew on Ostara have been doing deck aerobics in the sunshine, whilst the increasing temperatures have brought the first fruit and vegetable causalities - an exploding melon on Northern Child! Further gastronomic inconvenience has been caused aboard by the swell affecting the yachts "wine cellar". French crew member François describing the vintage as "well shaken" by its Atlantic odyssey.

At the front of the fleet, the two VOR60's are pressing on at a good pace, with Spirit just ahead by a nose. Their rivals Venom have chosen a slightly more southerly course. Will the winds hold for Spirit on their northern track? Both yachts are eating into the miles and have broken through first key indicator mark today, the 2,000 nautical mile distance to the finish in St.Lucia. The Hungarian team on Extra Dry are also up at the front, with an interesting race developing for the big boats.

Paper Moon who earlier had to return to Gran Canaria after their keel bolts worked lose have now arrived safely in Puerto Rico on the south of the Island and are being hauled out for repairs. Great Escapes are making good progress back as well, hoping to be in Las Palmas by Friday to repair their rudder bearings.
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