Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: High Pressure in more ways than one
The Boats racing in the Ocean Globe Race are now in their 4th week at sea on their way to Cape Town for their first stop over.
Pit Stops, or Stop Overs give the crews a much needed rest, essential down time and some relief from the relentlessness of working watches. It is also a chance to fix any problems on the boats and make sure that the both boat and crew are in the best possible state for the start of the next leg. When we did the 89/90 race we never had less than three weeks in port and we needed every minute of that time to make sure we were ready for the next leg.
At the moment the leading boats are sailing in the High Pressure system that dominates the South Atlantic. They are trying to work out the best tactics to go east towards their destination while trying to keep in favourable winds and stay out of the windless centre of the High Pressure.
There have been plenty of messages from the boats and some very good photographs. Maiden’s last phone call to the Ocean Globe HQ was impressive. They are obviously pushing the boat and crew hard. This is a good thing, not only for this leg, they are also finding out what isn’t working so well and figuring out ways to change or improve it before the next, much tougher Leg, 6,650 miles to New Zealand.
Comms from the boats further back in the fleet show that they have better food but slower boat speeds.
The boats in this race have many and varied reasons for competing. However, it is at the end of the day, inescapably, a race, and there are deadlines. The first of those is looming large. The 5th Nov is the date of the restart in Cape Town. No skipper would happy at the restart, with less than a week to prepare the boat and crew for this gruelling cold leg. The idea of setting off badly prepared would be their worst nightmare.
– Sally (Sal) Hunter was part of the original Maiden crew to sail around the world in the 89/90 Whitbread Race. Sal has joined the Maiden Shore Team for the duration of the Ocean Globe Race, tracking Maiden and keeping us updated with sailing analysis updates!