t is very tricky out here. A few hours ago we got stuck in a
hole and watched Toshiba sail over the horizon straight in front
of us. Just now, after we thought we had left the Gulf Stream for
good, we got 3.5 knots of current going toward 40, which is good.
So, there are a lot of seemingly unexplainable gains and losses.
Obviously we have taken more losses than gains in the last 24
Rudi and I are working hard to try to figure out how close to the
high pressure one can go. Will the guys out to the South --
Kvaerner, Chessie and Silk -- get too close and stop or will they get
through and save all the extra miles?
Where I would really like to be is right next to Swedish Match, but
I can't get there very easily. I would have to do a fairly drastic
course change because of the way the sail inventory works. So far,
we have been making small gains on them. However, they are
widening out to the north because they see the hole of the high
pressure as a possible parking lot for everyone and, if so, they
will skirt around it to the north in win the leg.
One thing that looks certain is that all the boats will end up
close to the northern limit zone imposed by the race committee.
There will be a lot of fog there because of all the warm air being
drawn up by the high-pressure system and there are reports of ice
30 miles south of the upper limit.
This is shaping up to be one of the more difficult legs
strategically. You have one of the more complex weather systems
we have encountered, coupled with this Gulf Stream, which is now
very sporadic. Even locally the wind is shifting through fifty
degrees and twenty knots so a lot of work on the crew and
It seems pretty sure that by tomorrow we will be getting lifted
and lighter and will begin the run around the high and see how
close it can be cut without losing too much pressure. We're trying
our best to skirt some of the on-board pressure as well. We'll all
be a lot happier when we get closer to Swedish Match again.