ell, it was not a fast or spectacular as the start of leg one, but we are off and it is time once again for you guys to log on every
morning when you wake up to see what the hell we did during the
night. I know from all the comments following the first leg that
you all enjoy the updates from the boat, so we will keep them
coming and this leg should give us plenty to write about.
The start out of Cape Town featured a 1.8-mile windward-leeward
along the city, then a fetch offshore about 2.5 miles, then
south leaving Cape of Good Hope to port. Silk Cut led at the
first mark, Swedish Match was second, with Merit Cup third and EF Language
The shore was better on the way back and EFL lost a few
places to Toshiba and Innovation Kvaerner.
Once we left the last mark, all
the boats but Swedish Match went toward the Cape. The wind
completely died and Swedish Match got a bit of wind from the north and
left the rest of us to drift along the shore.
We managed to get out of there in second, but Swedish Match
probably has an 8-mile lead. I think we have a few miles on the
rest of the pack. We will know in one hour when the first sked
My expectations for this leg are that the boys with the Whitbread
experience will do well. That would be Silk Cut, Merit, Swedish
Match. This will be a leg where handling the sails well in
extremely strong winds will pay off. Also, experience in knowing
how much wind a cloud line will give will be valuable.
I think that EFL, over all, is a strong boat with a strong team. We
will sail our best, that is one thing we can always count on.
Where that will place us is a bit of an unknown, just like the
first leg. We are an unknown quantity, even to ourselves.
As a manager, I know that getting my crew and boat to Fremantle unhurt
and undamaged and in the top three would place us in a strong
position for the regatta. If we can do better than that, you can
be sure we will jump on it. But I do think that this is a leg
where you have to use your head and keep the big picture in mind.
It is now 5-1/2 hours after the start and we are settling into
our watches. I am eating dinner as I write this. Rudy [Mark Rudiger] is eating
and getting his weather under control just to my right. We are
running with the 0.5-ounce spinnaker in 12 knots of wind from 340 degrees.
The Great Circle route for this leg is about 145 degrees magnetic. We will work a
bit right of that.
The next two days look a little light for wind. A high is ridging
in from the northwest. We need to get south and get the strong
westerlies from the lows that travel down there.
I am looking forward to bringing you the action, as much of it as