We have been on starboard tack with the big spinnaker up for the past 24 hours

First of all, Happy Valentines Day from all the Pirates to all their sweethearts! We got your cards today. Nice job organizing that ladies! We are thinking of you too!

We have been on starboard tack with the big spinnaker up for the past 24 hours which has made for some smooth and quick sailing. The wind speed has been between 20-30 knots for the past 8 hours.

We have a wind more to the west than we expected from our weather so we have had to gybe onto port just about an hour ago. This will let some pressure off Movistar but it is the right thing to do relative to the fleet. We wont be on this board long as we expect the wind to come back in from the SSW tonight. This little gybe will give us a good angle to Cape Farewell, which is the northwest tip of the South Island of New Zealand.

While this wind direction and subsequent gybe will let the pressure off Movistar, we have made nice gains on Brasil 1 and Ericsson today and this will let us consolidate.

Gybing in 27-30 knots is not a piece of cake with these boats so I was happy when we completed the first one without incident and now I am thinking about the one we will have to do in about 1.5 hours. Gybing involves first moving about 1.5 tones of sails and food and gear, some of it on centerline, some of it to leeward so it is to windward after the maneuver. When you go into the gybe, it is more difficult to keep you speed up because you have lost a lot of your righting moment. However, the alternative, leaving all the sails and gear stacked on the old windward side would be really bad if you broached in the gybe and all the gear ended up in the water. There would be a lot of damage and you would probably loose the sails and all the lifelines. So hopefully, we will have a nice little light spot when it is time to pull off the next one.

ABN AMRO ONE is just plain faster than the rest of us in these conditions. It has seemed that they had an edge for the past 24 hours but it was very apparent as they just sailed right by Movistar to take the lead and kept on going. Nice to have speed. It makes everything else easier… not finished, just easier.

We have 485 miles to Cape Farewell and then another 125 after that. We expect the wind to hold up pretty good tonight and tomorrow so we should be going around Cape Farwell before sunset tomorrow. Then into Cook Straight.

Not sure yet what we will have there but it doesn’t look like the 40-50 knots that were forecast when we started the leg so that is good.

Going to put some water on for dinner and then get the latest weather at 0600 GMT. We will probably gybe shortly after confirming the latest weather.

Have a nice day, especially all you Pirates ladies! And I mean all of them; the ones in Burbank, the ones in the Bahamas filming Dead Man’s Chest, all the Disney ladies all over the world, and all the ladies who work for all of our great partners. And even if I did not mention you, and you support some other team, I hope you have a great Valentines Day!


Pirates of the Caribbean