This is supposed to be the easy leg, says Global Challenge skipper Clive Cosby, but don't you believe it
After a well needed, deserved and earned break in Cape Town we are off to Boston. After the physical nature of the previous leg, the harsh conditions and trepidation of the last leg, this one is easy on the face of it – but not so, I believe.
Longitudinally we have to cover a quarter of the world’s surface. Mileage wise, this leg is longer than any other. Weather wise the vast majority will be sailed downwind in often light conditions. Ttactically as we negotiate high pressure systems and the doldrums it could prove frustrating.
We will cross our outbound track and circumnavigate, sail back into the northern hemisphere and inevitably thoughts will turn to home, life beyond the race. In 12 weeks it will all be over. This will not be an easy leg.
Already we are back into the swing of things as if we never stepped off the boat. Kite up kite down, speed down the line, edging north at the moment anxiously watching the movements of the high ahead. We lost to the guys south last night, SAIC and Samsung, just on our horizon and escaped two clouds that pushed us, followed by BP and Sark further north.
The wind is now more steady at around 20 knots and ahead of the beam and we are powering along with No1 Yankee, staysail and full main. The next sched is due in two hours – a chance to see where the others are as the fleet fans out, some south sailing rhumbline, some edging further north.
Interestingly, it seems to be the same boats following the same tactics: conservative versus radical approach. We favour the conservative: down the middle, keep on the pace and watch out for opportunities. It worked on the last Ieg and it is how we are approaching this one.
Clive Cosby, skipper Team Stelmar