he Gulf Scream Springs Eternal
(So far, it has taken me five minutes to write this much.)
The boats and crew are taking as much or more pounding right now
then any part of the race so far. With up to 20 knots of wind
against a 3 to 4 knot river, the waves are incredibly steep and
short. It seems like I have been in the air more than on my bunk
when trying to sleep. Some of the drop offs are so violent it
sounds like breaking glass in a car accident.
Basically, after some nail biting yesterday waiting for the route
to the "River" to pay off, we have been slowly gaining on the other
group other than Swedish Match, which is slightly faster upwind in
these pounding conditions and, of course, Brunel, who sailed the
perfect but risky route.
Right now we're coming up on Cape Lookout and are 80 miles from
Hatteras, where we will have to negotiate when to leave the stream
and make our approach to lower Chesapeake Bay. The strategy here
will be critical as there is adverse current after exiting.
We are still on our full-race watch system and will be until the
finish. With competition so tight and more tacking and close
navigating coming up, we will need all our resources at a moment's
Usually, we're the ones hoping for upwind stability sailing, but now
we're thinking some light air running to the finish would be good
for us against Swedish. As long as it doesn't let Kvaerner or Silk
catch up. We just tacked with Swedish, since we were starting to
fall out of the stream, and it looks like we did it on a good shift,
so it should be gainer on rest of fleet.
Will try our best to keep you all posted more often now.