Saturday, December 15, 2007

It will be getting chilly!


From the BtoB website and Derek Hatfield's emails here is the latest for the Spirit of Canada. Clicking on the map enlargens. - Ralph at Montreal Sailing.

For the three Anglo-Saxons, Derek Hatfield (Spirit of Canada), Dee Caffari (Aviva) and Rich Wilson (Great American III), the end of this Transat Ecover-BtoB will be far from easy!

Still stuck in light, variable winds to the South of the Azores, the trio will have to wait till Sunday morning for a S'ly wind to kick in, enabling them to lengthen their stride at the end of the weekend, but forcing them to close on the Spanish coast. The reason for this is the arrival of an Atlantic depression causing a beefy E’ly air flow in the Bay of Biscay and a bumpy ride home. The latter group should easily make the deadline for the closure of the line however, which is scheduled for nine days after the arrival of the winner, that is Sunday 23rd December at 00h 13' 25'' French time...

Hello from Spirit of Canada - 13th Dec 2007

The slow sailing persists in this high pressure zone and it looks it will be around for a while. I didn't make much progress overnight last night and this morning the sea was rolling glass. I started to helm and found that I could make the boat respond a little better so I have been hand steering the boat all day to make it go as fast as possible. There is a long night of steering ahead of me tonight. It has paid off I think as I have put in some miles to the north. Otherwise, I think the winner must be almost finished by now and congratulations to him. What an outstanding job.

Take care,

Derek.


Hello from Spirit of Canada 14 December 2007

Overall it's been a good sailing day but still not a lot of wind. On average about 8 knots of wind from the southeast so we are going off the wind for a change. I have continued to hand steer to get the maximum from the gennaker and boat speed. There was a great sunset tonight and each night has been clear with millions of stars. As the boats start the finishing process, it always gets anxious for those further back to get in and finish. I am starting to feel the anxiety now with over 1000 miles to go, it is not a position I am used to. Here's hoping for a quick finish from here but unfortunately the winds are not playing fair so far.

Take care,

Derek