We Found the Wind, Finally

43 south 25 East / Boat speed: 25 knots, Course 100True

We found the wind, finally. It has been a slow start to Leg 2 but now we are on the “highway” heading east and chewing up miles.

We throttled back on the second night when things got rough and Ericsson and Brasil 1 broke. We know how gutted they feel.

We are now in second place with ABN 1 in sight just down to leeward of us. We are blasting along with the masthead spinnaker up doing 25 knots in 30 knots of wind. The boat is already difficult to sail and very highly loaded as we dig the bow in to a wave every minutes or so and 50 cm of water comes down the deck and the boat does a huge deceleration. Whoever designed these bow sprits did a good job…so far. I don’t know how that thing is still on there. I think we will have to downshift again tonight if the wind stays up around 30. I am thinking that winning this leg could be all about not breaking down.

Yesterday and last night was a struggle getting through the high pressure ridge. A lot of slating, tacking onto to starboard and thinking we were finally out of it only to die in another hole and get swallowed up by the high again fro another two hours. Finally around midnight we got onto starboard and the wind held and gradually built from 2 knots adding about one know per hour through this morning. We got through it though, believing and investing in the south and west and the direction from which the wind would come…and it did. We raced within sight of the two ABN boats much of the time and are right with them now. Movistar chose to stay far to the east and while they were winning on distance to the mark for the past several position reports, they will now pay and all three of us and maybe Premier too, will cross ahead of them. A long way to go to Melbourne but getting to the highway was the first strategy game for skippers and navigators to play on this leg.

We are all settled in to our watches and systems and everything is functioning well. I know this sounds trivial but without the experience of doing leg 1, we are still getting sorted. The boat and crew arte in good shape at the moment and I really want to keep it that way.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean