‘Tis the new year so one can understand why there is a festive spirit spread amongst the fleet as they saw 2019 in at sea whilst racing towards St Helena.
‘Banjo’ reported as follows: “We had a fantastic new year’s eve formal dinner (at the saloon table) as the sun set. Went into the night in mild but pleasant conditions, only to be woken up at 03h30 with Sarel shouting “torn spinnaker”.”
“By the time we scrambled out of bed and donned our harnesses the kite ripped apart and the bottom half went under the boat – bugger!
“We had to cut what was left to retrieve it, so it is toast! So we unfurled the A0 and goosewinged till daylight. Right now we have a fractional kite up in about 18 knots, and have resumed our effort to break the record – still doable if the wind holds out, and the grib files look good.
“We are all in good spirits despite the setback, and are busy arguing our strategy and all the permutations – good fun!
“HAVE A SUPER NEW YEARS DAY, AND HAVE LOTS OF BUBBLY FOR US (cause we can’t)”
Our intrepid solo sailor aboard ‘Yolo’, Dale Kushner, reported: “Yesterday was good sailing in good conditions with good progress. As night bore on it shifted and dropped a bit but the barometer held. At nights clouds often form as the water temperature is high so there is a lot of humidity. During the day the sun normally melts it off. That together with a very late moon rising makes it a inky dark where you struggle to see the horizon. By early morning the barometer had risen as the high has come north. This hopefully won’t last long.
“My game plan is to be near or even west of rhumb line to place well for the easterlies as one gets closer to the island. I will still be doing the odd gybe today to try keep moving. All well aboard. Happy new year to all.”
‘Caribbean Soul’. “A quiet night and a rum on the new year. It’s a bit of a grey day. What better than to start the new year sailing. All good on board and still going downwind. No fish yet. We keep on sailing fast as we can. Hope Rotary Scout is managing to sort out their issues.”
‘Carpe Diem’. “All feeling tired. Sunny day. Looking forward to a hot bath when we arrive!”
‘Asante’. “Spinnaker blown. Back to white sails. All crew good and happy.”
‘Ronin’. “Our screecher halyard broke just around sunset. Sail is fine, but halyard down the mast. Knew we should have used dyneema!”
‘Naledi’. “Nice new year celebration with fantastic weather and gennicker.”
‘Compromise’. Happy new year. From the boat that rocked last night, a few tired sailors today. Have a good one and thanks for all your help and interest.”