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Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew in front again
American Brad Van Liew is out in front again after exciting weekend in the Velux 5 Oceans.
It was a tense weekend of nail-biting action as the leading boats battled it out for first place.
After hunting down race leader Brad Van Liew and closing the gap between them to just 22 nautical miles going into the weekend, Polish skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski led the fleet for the first time since leaving La Rochelle three weeks ago.
With Brad to the south, Gutek was able to take a more direct route towards Cape Town, effectively cutting the corner off the route sailed by Le Pingouin. But the 36-year-old's time at the front of the fleet was to be a brief one. After several days of frustrating light winds navigating through the St Helena High in the South Atlantic, Brad picked up the winds he had been searching for and reclaimed the top spot. In the past 24 hours the American has stretched his lead to 152 nautical miles, averaging 14.5 knots.
It was not easy for Brad to hang on to his lead - and it's not over yet. There are still more than 1,700 nautical miles to go before the leading pair reach Cape Town and the finish line for the first ocean sprint. Early predictions forecast the pair could arrive in Cape Town this coming weekend.
'It has been constant sail changes and working non-stop to keep my slim lead on Gutek,' Brad said. 'He has been hunting me down, and doing it at Mach 2 speed with precision. I was really frustrated that I had to work my way around the high pressure system and Gutek was able to cut the corner, devouring my hard fought lead. It will now be a full-on drag race with an unknown outcome.
'The reality is we have both chosen a lane. Gutek has been forced to try and come down closer to my latitude. I have a slight advantage on him let's say very slight. My advantage is of course being in front. I have a strategy and I'm sticking to my plan. My disadvantage is that I am being hunted. Gutek can come up with tactics to crush my plan.'
Brad Van Liew Day 21 blog post.
Gutek the Hunter on my Tail It has been constant sail changes and working non-stop to keep my slim lead on Gutek. He has been hunting me down, and doing it at Mach 2 speed with precision. Thankfully I am hauling right now on a tight reach. A satellite pull on the boat earlier today had me trucking along at 22+ knots. I'm averaging 14-15 knots and it looks like the weather pattern is pretty good for the foreseeable future. I was really frustrated that I had to work my way around the high pressure system and Gutek was able to cut the corner, devouring my hard fought lead. It will now be a full-on drag race with an unknown outcome.
The data you see online shows a margin of about 100 miles between Gutek and I, yet remember that is based on distance to finish in Cape Town. The reality is we have both chosen a lane. Gutek has been forced to try and come down closer to my latitude. I have a slight advantage on him... let's say VERY SLIGHT. My advantage is of course being in front. I have a strategy and I'm sticking to my plan. My disadvantage is that I am being hunted. Gutek can come up with tactics to crush my plan.
The St. Helena high is a series of high pressure systems that form and come off the Brazilian coast. They tend to march toward Cape Town and I am hanging on to one the best I can. When it gets out in front of us, we'll have to start gybing. This will offer up tactical opportunities and passing lanes right to the finish. The situation will keep me very busy, but should also make for exciting racing!
Thanks for checking in. Don't forget to view some of the videos at www.velux5oceans.com.
Zbigniew Gutkowski post.
I want to cry now. All night it was a really fast sprint to catch up with the low pressure system.
Then my next halyard broke. This time my gennaker fell down into the water. After two hours of dealing with this serious problem I managed to get back on my course.
Since yesterday I have really fantastic conditions for a really fast ride, 27 knots of wind.
I am really frustrated, tired and dissapointed with all these technical problems I had in this race!!!
Now as for my foresails I have only jib left, so the truth is I have nothing to go on and chase Brad.
Really, I had not a slightest chance to save my last sail - it just went into pieces once it got into the water.
Christopher Stanmore-Major post.
The night has been quiet, I spent most of the hours of darkness heading due south holding 12 to 13 kts which is within the speed targets for this boat and not too uncomfortable in the gently rolling swell coming in from the SE. Still the weather situation ahead leaves me guessing how big the gap will be between myself and the front runners. I am now resigned to, of course, arriving some time after they have got in but it will not be without pride as I will have successfully completed the first leg in a boat I barely knew and after discovering a lot more about my ability to cope with this type of sailing than I ever imagined. I will be very interested also to see exactly how far ahead of me Derek arrives - although the distance between us using the distance to finish figures available from the trackers makes it look as though I am once again closing the gap to just over 250Nm my measurements along the route we must take- which unfortunately is not a straight line from out present position to the finish- puts him over 600Nm ahead- an amount it is unlikely I can reduce in the available time. Still, to arrive in one piece with a boat in only a few more pieces than it set out from La Rochelle in will be an accomplishment I hope to enjoy.
I have been asked if I ever see any amazing sights out here- by that I imagine sights that are unexpected or out of the ordinary- I imagine that first one's definition of ordinary would need to be outlined- perhaps what I take to be a 'rough night' is the most morbid nightmare of a non-sailor and what I see as just another sunset would be a scene worth standing and watching for half an hour or more whilst ashore. Yet, there are though some sights that are universal, that will never lose their ability to impress and which even the crustiest shellback's face still lights up for.
The first that that leaps into my mind has to be the stars as one see's them from a yacht at sea. Without attempting to sound too romantic nor wax too lyrical they are simply beyond description to those who must live night after night in a city where sodium street lights destroy one of the most entrancing sights imaginable. Out here and with the benefit of many hours for my eyes to become totally accustomed to the dark the stars spread from horizon to horizon like the jewelled decoration within the most exquisite Faberge egg.
Millions of burning points of light, unrealistically bright it would seem like the backdrop to an early Star Trek episode, all pulsing and twinkling to their own individual rhythm like those in a child's nursery rhyme. The Milky Way out here is not just an irritatingly small chocolate bar which really should have a few extra ingredients thrown in to liven it up. No, out here it is a river of light snaking its way across the face of the constellations as clear to the eye as the white crests of the waves and the moon. I find something profoundly fixating about standing and looking up at the stars when they appear as more than just a few specks of light peeking out from behind street signs and barge boards; for all my GCSE science and my prosaic understanding of the physics of a star, the limitations of the speed of light and the fact that what I am looking at is in fact a snapshot of the universe as it was hundreds or thousands of years ago- they still feel immediate, tangible and important, they possess an intimate association with their audience- as though the show is only being put on for the one viewer - me. To the simpler and more instinctual parts of my brain they seem somehow linked to what I am doing and where my life is going and it is easy to understand why our ancestors who looked out on this scene every night of their lives, unencumbered by electricity or a need to work late at the office found great meaning and symbiosis in what is now unfortunately so often just something to glance up at whilst smoking a cigarette outside a pub or whilst out walking the dog.
So you see its not all crippling emergencies, constant work and sleep deprivation. Out here there is also plenty of time to reflect on smaller more esoteric things; to shuffle up close perhaps to what is important in life and view it from an angle that is not possible day to day. On that theme of the smaller things in life the cricket is still here merrily chirping away with the dawn- seems Bombay mix and a plastic box home down close to the engine where it is warm is good enough for him for now.
Etiquetas: Regatas internacionales