Heading left on the chessboard

1,432 views  |   April 30th, 2012 


The last 24 hours have been incredibly frustrating, the whole day we
negotiated the passage of many rain clouds which played havoc with the
wind, on average we had a lot less than predicted by the forecast and
after each downpour we hoped things would stabilise but the never ending
sequence of squalls followed by windholes kept going on and on. Even more
annoyingly, we found an average of 1.5 knots of adverse current, only
after midnight the counter flow seems to have started decreasing.

The total effect of all the above has been dramatic on our advantage over
Phesheya, the miles have evaporated faster than the cold sweat over my
forehead at the thought of being overtaken after all this hard work. We
dropped more than 40 miles of advantage in just one day. The forecast is
inequivocable, being on the left side of the chessboard is an advantage at
every point from here to the finish and we’ve been waiting for every
opportunity to inch west and close the lateral separation to Phesheya.

Tonight after sunset, stuck under a windless cloud bouncing around in a
messy sea and just 10 knots of wind we decided that it was time to bite
the bullet and head west, or rather south west, as that’s the best we can
do, almost like a bishop unable to move sideways but forced to go
diagonally… the goal is to go an cover Phesheya whilst hopefully also
getting out of the adverse current, i’m not sure this is the fastest way to
Charleston but once we are in front of them and pretty much in the same
winds they will have a much tougher time overtaking us than if we leave the
corridor to our left unsupervised. Ocean racing boils down to match racing
once again, Cessna is too far ahead for any chance to catch them so the
only meaningful priority is to make sure we position ourselves between
Phesheya and the finish line. Sec.Hayai is out of the game with a 24 hour
penalty for their pit stop in Fortaleza.

Our advantage will have dropped dramatically by the morning but i’d rather
swallow my pride now than live in denial of the fact that staying here is
just too risky.

Posted by: firstclass


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