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The Maiden Factor Blog

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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: Throw of the dice

There has been a Throw of the Dice from the boat that has, until last week, dominated Leg 2 Of the Ocean Globe Race.

Pen Duick VI, the biggest, and one of the most powerful boats in the race, had sailed a storming leg until they sailed into the middle of a High Pressure System with light winds, allowing the rest of the fleet to make up time on them, costing them, not only Line Honours but also dropping them to 3rd on IRC Handicap.

The leading boats are now approaching the last part of the Leg 2, taking them up the Tasman sea on their approach to New Zealand. Maiden and Helsinki are close to the Rhum Line with Translated 9 approaching from much further South.

Pen Duick VI , having nothing left to lose, with insufficient time to pull back their lead have taken, what is known as a “Flyer”. They sailed through the Bass Strait between Australia and Tasmania. It is a common race tactic in all sailing races, from round the cans in dinghies up to Round the World Sailing, when you can’t out sail your opposition, do something different to them.

The coming days with prove whether the tactic paid off this time.

The fleet are going to get the benefit of the big low that has been rumbling in from the West, bringing White Shadow with it at a good pace. This should push the leaders round the corner and up into the Tasman Sea. The final stage of the Leg is going to play out around the dominating High Pressure that moves around the Tasman Sea. Tactical sailing once again giving rewards to the boats who get the shifts right.

It will be starting to feel like a terribly long time at sea for the crews on these yachts, especially as they had a short stop over in Cape Town, giving them little chance to do much more than prepare to leave again. After an extended period of watch keeping, it is hard to remember that you ever did anything else, and equally hard to imagine it ending!

Luckily after a few beers, a shower and some decent food, the Rose Tinted Specs are reinstated and you only remember the fun parts (mostly)! - Sal