Velux 5-Oceans race competitor Robin Knox-Johnston drops further down fleet 13/3/07

Log dateTuesday 13 March 2007
PositionLat 12 00S Long 35 18 W
Miles To Norfolk, USA3,913 nm
Distance In 24 Hours234.9 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours9.79 knots

A quick calculation of the distances between ourselves and the next two boats in front indicates the enormity of the task of closing the gap with them before Norfolk. Unai (Basurko) is now 1,650 miles ahead and AGD 850 miles. With 2,500 miles and 3,300 miles to go, the percentage increase in speed I require for Saga Insurance is not a reasonable expectation.

Unai is through the Doldrums but over the western side of the Atlantic the Doldrums hardly exist as both the north and southern hemisphere winds come together in a south-easterly trade which goes straight from one hemisphere to the other. Both the other boats now have favourable winds whereas we are still beating up the Brazilian coast, admittedly a slight freer, but not sufficient to allow a great increase in speed.

The lesson is that the variables are very variable. A week ago AGD and ourselves were 100 miles apart, but he was to the north-east and picked up the favourable trade winds, we still had to reach them, and as we moved north-east they moved away there as well. The result, 100 miles has grown to 850 miles.

But the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. I got a bit bored with my pot mess so I added a tin of Malaysian curry sauce, along with one or two other things, and it was delicious, even if it had to be eaten from the pressure cooker on the stove as we were well heeled over and bouncing about quite a lot.