One down, 12 to go!
With Simon through the photogate yesterday, it’s now Kirsten and Tapio’s turn, less than 150 miles away, probably tomorrow morning. Kirsten is in slightly more favourable wind and sea conditions and should logically cross the line in 2nd position but watch out for the flying Finn! Pat, still 4° and 300 miles away, is having windvane problems, and has been sailing sheet to tiller towards Cape Town since last night.
The Mexican stand-off between Abhilash, Damien and Captain Gugg 300 miles from Cape Town looks close with a gate expected on Wednesday night. The trio, like Ertan and Jeremy, should benefit from the wind coming from the low-pressure in their south until mid-week. The South African sailor, like his compatriot, is on the most southerly course on a wide curve slingshot trajectory enabling good speed despite the barnacle invasion.
Behind, it’s more complicated as an unstable, mostly calm zone spreads over Elliott, Ian, Arnaud and Guy for the week. They are caught by Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, acting as the sweep vehicle for the fleet. They will have to make up for the delay in the Southern Ocean to make the Hobart gate in time. Deadline is 31 January 2023.