The SC 70 OEX checks in from 3rd in class in the Transpac…
First off, I’ve re-read some of our previous posts. Please accept my apologies for the numerous grammatical and typographical errorz.
We’ve all been racing across a zone of high pressure that between Long Beach and Diamond Head. On the western edge of the zone the wind traditionally shifts to the right 15-35 degrees. Now 1,300 Nm later, everyone faces an important decision as to when to gybe. We follow our competitors in much the same way viewers at home watch Yellowbrick tracker. We download delayed position reports in text files and oour routing software Expedtion, plots the track of all the competitors.
Yesterday afternoon, the fleet started south. Maverick had gybed a couple of days earlier and sailed into lighter wind. Now it appeared that Holua, GI and Pyewacket had all gybed inside our line. Subsequent position reports showed they had all gained by cutting the corner, We elected to wait in search of a streak of stronger wind and oh boy did we get get it!
Our 3-6 AM watch featured three big squalls with 30 knots stingers rolling through regularly. The horizon was absolutely pitch black but an occasional star peeked through around the second spreader helping with steering. We put two guys on the grinder handles and put the gear in low 1 and ground every wave last night. We were sailing with a full main, 2A gennaker and spinnaker stay sail making for an exciting ride on deck and below. We eventually moved into asset preservation mode and did a bald headed change to a smaller and stronger 4A gennaker.
Murphy loves to sail and visited us at the same time. Our battery voltage alarm went off in the middle of this excitement. We tried on several occasions to start the engine. We weren’t certain if our heel angle sucked air into the fuel lines. Jib Kelly and Pete Hambrick spent the entire watch bleeding the fuel line only to learn that our fuel lines were fouled with algae. Jib and Pete cleared the lines and we could once again charge batteries and make water. Every boat needs a guy like Jib. We are lucky to sail with him.
The morning reports showed that last night’s efforts paid off. We pulled 10 miles and 10 degrees on Pyewacket during that three hour schedule. Australians measure distances by the mileage of a Hobart Race. Southern Californians use Cabo as our yard stick. We’re within one Cabo race and Pyewacket is 47 miles to windward and Gi is 42 miles dead upwind. We moved up in class ranking to third and fleet ranking to 8th overall. Track here.
Pressing on to Diamond Head.
OEX Standing by
Meanwhile, Timeshaver is trying to dodge the debris…
The sailing has been amazing and we are still motoring with the 2A up. Unfortunately we lost some ground to our competitors in the last 24. I don’t know how many times they had to back up but we have gone head to wind about 6times to get debris off the keel. Maybe it was just where we were at on the course? Even so I know we are without a spinnaker for around 10 minutes each time. Frustrating but it is what it is.
Under 800 miles to go, a quick Cabo Race I hope. We are determined to hold our ground and are going to push hard. Looking forward to getting in this water and going for a surf in just under 3 days (hopefully). – K-Mag.