November 11, 2021
Racing some 200 miles off the Portuguese coast this morning, set to pass the latitude of Cape Saint Vincent the most south westerly point of Europe, Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier on the Leyton OceanFifty are going well, working hard to erode the margin the leaders opened up during the last 48 hours.
The mood on board is good and they are sticking to the routine which will keep their energies up, concentrating on staying rested, hydrated and lucid, communicating well between themselves and with their on land weather guru Marcel Van Triest as they try to sail the best angles to get south.
What is causing them most stress is that the northerly winds are very unstable. They are essentially gybing down a wide corridor of wind, with light airs offshore caused by the Azores high pressure zone. It seems like the wind changes so often that no sooner are they set up to make their turn than it changes again and the choice is not so favourable.
Compared to the last few nights it has been a moderately straightforward night. We are moving even f the wind is not very stable. The changes are fairly manageable and so what is taking up our energy and got us thinking is deciding when to gybe, east a bit more, because the wind is changing all the time, when to gybe and how long for. Because the wind is changing all the time one minute I looks good and the next minute it looks bad and you cannot just flick the boat around just like that.
It is kind of messing with our heads a bit, so we are chatting with Marcel and each other. We lost big on the that yesterday and regained a bit tonight. We are in the same weather system and so though the guys in front are a bit ahead we are doing all we can to catch them and overtake them. The weather scenario has been a bit rich get richer these past few days but we are confident there will be a chance to get back at them in the next few days. We are just trying to catch the leaders, we are not so concerned about beating the boats around us.
We speak to Marcel regularly about the gybes and all also looking longer term at the options between the Canaries and the Cape Verde islands, what are the best options. Usually it is about early gains versus long term investments.
The mood is good we were told by our boss at Leyton to have a good time and make sure we enjoy it and so we are doing that. Obviously we would like to be out front but we are not in a bad place there are so many miles left, there is lots of sailing to be done and we are keeping at it, making good communication, navigation, eating, resting well, the boat is going fast but we are always trying different ideas to go faster. We are very happy. The only bad thing is we only have one piece of the cake my mum made me left!”
Track the race live HERE
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