It was a brief taste of the lead for ECOVER as Sill soon stole back pole during the night and is rocketing along at twice the speed of the rest of the fleet
It was a sweet, but short stay at the front for ECOVER as Sill Plein Fruit screamed back into the lead. Showing a boat speed of 15.3 knots, compared to ECOVER’s 8 knots, Sill is adding up more miles by the hour.
Besides his slower boat speed, Golding was also faced with the previously predicted westward wind direction. Unable to sail on his westward course he was forced to again turn south losing valuable miles to the finish in the process.
Kingfisher is in third 23 miles behind Sill and sailing even slower than ECOVER. Kingfisher’s last reported boat speed was only 6 knots, indicating that they too are struggling with headwinds. Sill, on the other hand, had struggle far enough north to get a better angle on the new wind direction and has been able to actually capitalize on the new stronger winds. Whether Kingfisher can maintain her current course, or like Golding has to tack southward, should be decided within hours.
Fifty-four miles behind the leader, Gartmore was showing only slightly better speed than Kingfisher. Hall had his yacht’s nose pointing in Sill’s direction but, being nearly 60 miles to the southeast of Sill it is unlikely that Gartmore will be able to maintain boat speed without also ducking south until the storm passes.
Fila and AlphaGraphics had yet to feel the wind shift as they are the farthest south of the bunch. Both yachts were still sailing on northwesterly course but will almost certainly turn southward again soon.
Fila is 65 miles behind the leader and AlphaGraphics is off the pace by 126 miles.
Today should see many changes as winds topping 50 knots and seas over 20 feet are predicted to hit the fleet. We’ll keep you posted on the latest from race headquarters.