The RNI fleet is taking a hammering, 25-30+kts on the wind with some big seas, the 38 boat fleet has already had 5 boats withdraw from this leg, 1 dismasting, 1 boat with steering problems, 1 with a injured crew member, and another sprung a leak. I just spoke to Damon Jolliffe on Sat phone who is on a 35 vickers design ‘Valium’ he said the wind was not the big issue but the sea state was “Horrendous” and it was very uncomfortable. They were both ok and the boat was going well but neither had had much sleep and were exhausted. He was also completely unaware of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch even though his wife is from Christchurch and still has all her family and friends down there with their family house destroyed in the quake. Im guessing that hasn’t helped the boat morale much….
The whole 550nm leg is looking like it will be upwind in 25+kts of wind the Cook Straight will be nasty. Cyclone Atu is currently passing down the east coast but luckily just out of reach of the fleet although it is accelerating the South winds slightly for them.
The Cookson 50 Akatea leeds the fleet with in the Ross 45 ‘M1’ and Shaw 30 ‘Karma Police’ not far back. Overload, pictured here is hanging tough too. The leaders won’t be finished until late Friday or Saturday and the tail enders could be days behind. You can follow the latest updates here.
Unfortunately I had to sit this race out with the owner of the T850 ‘Waka’ having some business demands that he couldn’t avoid resulting in a last minute withdrawal for us. Very disappointed but it look like it might be a race to miss… – BooBoo