Pippa Picks Up a Place to 9th
by Matthew Thomas
Fast sailing in big seas on a Class 40 is wet, very wet. Step into the cockpit and you’re in a washing machine. If you’re helming, the waves constantly roar down the deck and you better be harnessed on with your spare hand wrapped around a stanchion or you’re going to be washed away.
Sailing in the current conditions, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Pip Hare are taking turns helming while the other is trying to get some rest as the boat launches off each wave and crashes into the next trough.
Stacking is allowed, so at the gybe, they have to move everything onto the high side to give ‘Concise 2′ more power – no mean feat when you realize that there is around 500kg of gear to move and the boat is jumping around.
They have now gybed and are headed due south towards the rhumb line and have moved up into 9th place, clawing back their position on ‘Groupe Setin’, which they’d lost previously. Yannik Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur on ‘Le Conservateur’ are still leading the Class 40’s with a number of boats right on their tail.
Big news in the IMOCA fleet is that ‘Hugo Boss’ is headed to Vigo to make rigging repairs and ‘PRB’ has taken the lead from ‘Queguiner’. ‘Ceila Village’ is still leading the Multi 50 class, but with the wind now out of the south east, has tacked over and should pass just ahead of second placed ‘Arkema’ when they cross tacks in a few hours.
Out front, ‘Sodebo’ is still leading and just south of the Canary Islands with ‘Macif’ dogging her every move as they fight through the lower winds close to the North African coast.
With such a diverse fleet, it’s interesting to see just how fast these big trimarans are. ‘Sodebo’ has 3 883nm to the finish, while the leading Class 40 has 4 662nm – after an elapsed time of 89 hrs 38 minutes.