We went from 5 knots to 35 knots of breeze in matter of seconds, right at the top of Taiwan. The sea state was already going crazy, and we thought we were well prepared. As soon the breeze hit us we knew we were in trouble, as the wind direction came 40 degrees different than expected, meaning we had to sail right into the waves. It was a bad night, way worse than a bad one in the gulf stream of Florida, you can’t believe so heinous the conditions of the waves were. I called for dropping the mainsail, and seconds after we did that a gust of 45 knots hit us. I was really scared so bad the crashes we made of the waves, and that the boat would not hold out and that SO CLOSE TO THE FINISH. The guys who were driving got washed off the wheels regularly by breaking waves. This was madhouse and one particular bad wave washed the entire radio communication dome off the back. A good score this leg, lost an epirb,, a man over board module,, the dome and a horse shoe (life ring)
I told the guys only one thing that matters, is keeping this puppy in one piece. Somewhere during the night we got a massage that ERT 3 was taking on water and were diverting to Taiwan, a good reminder that things can turn pear shape in a matter of seconds. So we are still in the lead, but ERT4 and PUMA, who made the comeback of the year, are still in striking distance. It would be fantastic to win this leg, but more upwind is going to come, and some big shifts are out there and for the final miles but no weather info, bugger, that will make live not easier. It will be old school sailing, place yourself in between the finish and the opponents, easy ain’t it? We will do all we can to pull it off, and I’ll give an update when the first snowflakes drop on us, it is F’ing freezing out here.