by Richard Crockett
Was it a surprise to see the big dogs dive south so dramatically? Probably not as one has to really keep one eye on the tracker and another on the weather. Those who toggle the wind on in YB Tracker will see that ‘Maserati’ and ‘Love Water’ are diving south into some big wind which they hope will slingshot them into Rio at record pace.
The fact that the two big bogs are shadowing each other, with ‘Love Water’ just some 18nm directly astern of ‘Maserati’, shows that they have both seen the same wind pattern and both want to take advantage of it. Neither are doing massive boat speeds either, around 15 knots, and not the 25-plus that they are very capable of. That was on the 06h00 report this morning, although the 10h00 report shows ‘Love Water’ trying to position herself between Rio and ‘Maserati’. The next 24 hours will be very interesting in this two-boat tussle.
The north-south fleet divide is closing daily, and within a few days we should see them begin to integrate more.
What interests me is that ‘JM Busha 54′ have steadfastly remained the most northerly boat in the fleet, but this morning at about 07h00 she and ‘Mojie’ crossed gybes about 2nm apart, with ‘Mojie’ favouring a more northerly course of 308degrees, and ‘JM Busha 54′ an almost south westerly course of 264degrees. These two have been close foes all race, and are likely to be all the way to the finish line unless now is the time they unshackle from each other and one can outfox the other. As always, time will tell.
‘Mussulo’, in the southern fleet, continues to lead the fleet overall on handicap – especially impressive as they are sailing just two-up – that’s just two guys doing EVERYTHING!
‘Haspa Hamburg’ is the most northerly of this fleet, and sailing hard, fast and sensibly, as is ‘Almagores II’, with ‘Zulu Girl’ being the most southern boat in the entire fleet.
Of the three cruising cats, ‘Myrtle of Bonnievale’ is in charge on handicap, followed by ‘Sulanga’ and ‘Ronin’.
Yesterday I mentioned that no outside assistance was permitted in terms of the rules. Today, after questions from landlubbers about food, it’s safe to say that there are two categories of food intake on this race. The racing boats, and I mean those serious about wanting to win on handicap, will be eating freeze-dried food. It’s simply a case of opening a few packets of the chosen “taste of the day”, adding hot water and scoffing! It’s lightweight stuff this – as the lighter a boat is the faster it can go. Plus energy bars and lightweight snacks are plentiful – and chocolate bars too.
The cruising boats, as some may have seen from various social media posts, don’t pay much attention to weight and have fridges and deep-freezes aboard, and plenty of fresh food. Some braai off the back of the boat, others make roasts and wash it down with a good wine – so life is good aboard these boats especially if someone is baking bread daily! The downside is that they take longer to get to Rio! The upside is that they have more time to enjoy nature at its very best!