A Light and Variable Day

Position: 13,4.11S , 35,39.36W

Speed: 13 knots, Course: 34 deg.

It was a light a variable day today with winds as light as 3 knots. There is always a lot of anxiety when you have that little wind as you wonder what everyone else has. Today we had to fight our way through a large cell of little to no wind in order to hook into the trades.

We could see the cumulus clouds that mark the trades all day, but at boat speeds that we as low as 3 knots at times, it took us all day to go 40 miles. About 1600 local time we went under a cloud line and on the other side were the beautiful trades waiting to take us away.

We are now doing 12 knots of speed in 9 knots of wind at 80 true wind angle. These boats are machines in this wind speed.

All in all we had a pretty good day against the fleet today. At the 1000 sked, there was compression as we all closed in on Movistar who hit the light patch first. On the 1600 sked ABN1 and Ericsson made a nice move on the west side of the group, probably getting to leeward of a cloud that had rain coming out of it. On the 2200 sked, movistar extended 3 miles on us and ABN 1 gained one mile on us and we gained on the rest of the fleet.They still had very light wind at the time of the sked so we may have extended even more since then.

We are now kind of on autopilot for the next 48 hours. We are aiming straight at Fernando de Noronha, the island off Brazil that we have to leave to port and will count as a scoring gate. The wind will lift and head a little over the course to Fernando but there are no more major tactical decisions left to make until we leave Fernando. So it is all about setting the boat up to get maximum performance for the given wind speed and angle.

The sea is smooth so good for sleeping. And that is where I am off to next.