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Day 189

Jeremy spent most of the weekend under bare poles in very difficult conditions, up to 60-knot wind speed and 8-metre seas. It was bitterly cold, he lost his cockpit dodger and inflatable danbuoy on the way down but he is making good progress, 200 miles from the Horn. He will be in manageable conditions until next Saturday.

Those good conditions will also benefit Ian, who is less than 1,000 miles from the last great cape of his round the world trip. He is sailing with a reefed staysail only to preserve his mainsail and is still making 100 miles/day for a Pacific exit mid-next week. At 52° South in the southern autumn, he describes the conditions as “spectacular and bloody awful”.

In the Atlantic, everyone (almost) went idle this weekend. Michael was caught by the centre of a high pressure, and Abhilash in his western option was sailing in very light headwinds with the advantage of creating some apparent wind. Kirsten missed her narrow escape by around 80 miles on Sunday and is now stuck in little to no wind, averaging around 1 knot.

Only Simon, through the high pressure to his south, has spent the weekend under spinnaker in a steady SE, lining up miles in perfect warm weather. At 150 miles/day he is clearly catching up with the leaders. With the wind coming back from the south, it will be hard for Kirsten to keep her lead over Abhilash (400 miles) who gets fresh wind today, while Simon simply seems unstoppable.


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