David Scully reports from on board as Cheyenne cruises along at 24 knots

A good, fast night of sailing under big genaker and main. We dropped the big one at dawn on account of too much wind, and put up the newly repaired blast. Shortly thereafter we dropped it again to make adjustments to the leach cord, flung it back up and sailed for several hours before switching back to the big one. An energetic morning in the sail trim department.

Now we are VMG running at 24 kts, with the Cape Verdes about 200 miles ahead on the port bow. At this rate we will pass them abeam at about midnight. Crew are eating, sleeping, and sailing like champions. I do not know where OdsK is, but he will have to be getting up very early in the morning to get by us in this wind.

This big sail is the workhorse of our inventory when we are sailing free like this. In 20 kts. of wind it takes a lot of talent and concentration to avoid overloading it. A misjudged wave, or a lapse in judgement, will put us too close to the wind, and increase the apparent wind load on the sail to the point where it explodes! Not a happy thought, with all this VMG running in our future. At the moment though, the angle is good, and the speed is intoxicating. Tonight the Cape Verdes, then on to the Equator!

Picture: Cheyenne at speed. Claire Bailey