southern comfort two

Not only are we bringing it to you onboard via Rio 100 and Timeshaver to Hawaii, we now have the perspective from the SC 70 OEX skipper John Sangmeister. Dig it.

rio onboardSeldom is the fleet divided across such a wide arc of latitude. We have fanned out some three hundred miles searching for the fastest path around an area of high pressure and little wind. Our weather team, including fellow Stars & Stripes alum Chris Bedford, have elected to follow the southern route in hopes that we’ll find the exhausted of a diminished Dolores.

“Well, we won’t be Third.” I’m reminded of Tom Whidden’s comments as we sailed away from the fleet at the start of the 1986 Molokai race onboard David Rosow’s Valecelli 50 “Springbok.” DC looked over in silence and conviction as we watched the sun set of the fleet beating up the face of Coco Head.

Every four hours, we download delayed position reports and then we gather in hushed silence as Jeff Thorpe recites – sometimes painfully slowly – our progress vis a vis our competitors. Traditionally, the northern boats all score better in the first few days. The northern routing is closer to Great Circle routing and calculates better progress to Hawaii. This morning a cagey Jeff Thorpe emerged from below with the morning report. The One AM report showed big gains against all the sled fleet. Holua is sailing 40 miles directly upwind. We made gains on Pyewacket, GI, Buono Serra and Maverick as well. At 40 miles upwind, Holua would have to sail 8 hours to catch us and at this stage of the race, we only owe them three.

Last night, CHef Pete Lehmar from Gladstone’s Long Beach prepared a decadent surf and turf meal of fillets and grilled lobster tails. In true caveman style, the crew devoured this Paleo dinner. Tonight will bring on Randy Smith’s favorite Mountain House freeze dried, Beef Stroganoff and raspberry crumble.

We are westing in 11 knots of true wind under a full main and 2A.

OEX standing by