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Day 182

Exit strategy!

Primarily for Ian Herbert Jones who has FINALLY come out of the northern limit of the Exclusion Zone, after almost A FULL MONTH tacking, gybing and drifting north of 47°S! He entered on February 8, 350 miles behind Jeremy, only to leave yesterday, Sunday, 930 miles behind Olleanna. Puffin is free at last and it shows, with 154 miles covered in 24 hours, Ian posts the best distance in the fleet this morning! Jeremy is managing his second week in strong westerly winds, one week away from Cape Horn. Olleanna posts a 5-knot VMG to the Horn, which is the highest in the fleet. Big up!

This week is the exit of the roaring forties for Capt. Gugg and Simon who have been experiencing strong north-westerly winds since exiting the Pacific, in rough confused seas, even forcing the Austrian to sail bare poles for a while. They took advantage of crossing the ridge of high pressure in calm conditions last night to do some maintenance before the NW 25-45 knot gale comes in at midday. They have 24 busy hours ahead of them before getting becalmed, but at least they are getting out of 40° S, while reducing the gap with the leading duettists!

Ahead, they are moving slowly, literally at walking speed, in a system taking time to get organised, with unstable winds both in strength and in direction. Against the odds, Kirsten is doing quite well keeping Abhilash at bay, to the cost of constant sail changes. The latter had to climb the mast yesterday, repair a running backstay and his mainsail today, the 24,000 miles travelled are starting to show with constant nursing of the yachts, but nothing is set in stone at the front, and it’s not over till the fat lady sings!


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