If you’re going to have to go upwind, this is exactly how you’d want to do it. It has been simple sailing: we haven’t tacked or gybed once since leaving Malé, we’ve hardly touched our foul weather gear, the boat is dry, the sea is calm, and with the lighter winds and towering masthead zero up the rig, there’s not an ounce of scorching sun to be found anywhere on deck – it blocks it all.
Last night was another good one, and we still find ourselves leading the race east. Holding our ground in the early going has neither paid off nor cost us, as we’ve extended a little on Groupama (now 6 miles dead astern), and have reconnected with CAMPER this morning (just over 4 miles off our hip). They have been aggressively sailing back down to our line and if they come all the way we will be close, just as we were when they tacked to the north a few days ago.
In all likeliness, none of these small differences across the fleet matter much because everyone seems assured of the many windless race restarts to come in the Malacca Straits. These scenarios tend to favor the trailing boats – a position we’ve never benefitted from (we were first into the Atlantic Doldrums and second into the Indian Doldrums) – so we’re very aware of how quickly our results and hard work can evaporate.
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