No champagne sailing
Jeremy went through the violent NW front last night, heaving-to most of the time and gently drifting east at 2.5 knots. All is well on board apart from his cockpit dodger, smashed by a wave. The ever-stoic Jeremy is staying north to let the worst of the weather cross south of him. The conditions will be more favourable to him tonight after midnight. Despite a ripped mainsail, Ian is continuing his direct SE course on reef 3 and should venture in the Furious 50s later today.
Michael is still entangled in a developing high-pressure system and will suffer until Sunday when the high, finally formed to his east, will send in some upwind sailing. West in not always best… Simon, 370 miles ahead, tacked again to stay east and it worked out well for him. With another 150 miles this morning, he posted the best 24H performance of the fleet! Better still, he is ideally placed to stay in a narrow wind corridor until the SE comes back this weekend.
At the front, it’s like yesterday, but in lighter winds. Upwind on a 350 course for Abhilash (still not north) towards Brazil, and a broad reach for Kirsten who is going 20% faster and has altered course to NNW, on a straight line to Recife. She has found an issue with her bowsprit, on which her big genoa is rigged, but can still sail under staysail if the wind picks up. Only 17% of the course to go for the fleet leader!