losing in on Fremantle. 621 to go at 0600 UT.
My analysis of our difficulties on this leg boils down to: "We are
just a bunch of hyped-up buoy racers who don't know when to down
Basically, we went into turn 4 of lap 55 with 20 mph too much
pace on, scrubbed the wall, spun in the middle of the track,
squared off the tires and tore off the rear spoiler. So, we
pitted, got new tires, new spoiler, brushed off the dust, and we
are back out on the track . . . one place further behind, but a little smarter for the experience.
I take full blame for the mistakes made, which caused the damage,
which in turn cost us to sail without a spinnaker for a
significant part of two days and lose over 100 miles. I did not
appreciate the magnitude of loss of effectiveness we as a crew
had. The cumulation of cold, fatigue, people out of position,
heavy bulky clothes, more difficult communication all add up in an
exponential way. Small mistakes which never would be an issue are
common. Things don't go as planned or usual. Things snowball
The consequences in terms of down time are huge.
Basically, you get to a point in certain conditions where your
criteria for "racing" has to change. You have to be happy with
less, because ultimately less will be more. You can't describe to
someone what that point is, you just have to feel it. Now, I know
Still, on this leg, we showed again good boat speed and Rudy showed
that he can place us in the right position. Around Day 10, when
things were pretty tight between EFL, Merit Cup and Silk Cut, EFL tacked
away to the south first and got the 70-mile lead on Silk and more
on Merit. That was the key play, strategically, on this leg. So,
what's not right can be fixed, and that is good news, because
that is not always the case.
Back to the race at hand. We made a small gain on Silk Cut on the
0001 sked first one in three or four days but lost 13 miles on
the 0600 sked. We have had the wind lift 40 degrees when it was
forecast to head 20. We are probably under the influence of some
local rain cloud or squall. It is gray everywhere, so you can only
see on the radar.
It looks like a pretty straight forward walk into Fremantle, the
wind slowly heading. The rich may get a little richer as they
will sail at the broader angles longer while the system with the
header fills from the west.
Swedish Match will finish tonight. Now, we know what it is like to
still be racing after the leader finishes. They actually won a
4,700-mile leg in the first 4 hours of the race. Good on them!