Dee Caffari, skipper of Imagine it. Done. with the latest from leg 6 of the Global Challenge

Date 25 Jun 2005

Location 30 miles from WP Charlie

Weather Cloudy, warm

Heading 085

Having completed close on 1,000 miles at relatively slow speeds towards
waypoint Charlie we have spent every night and most days in the company of
other Challenge Yachts in the fleet. Normally we rely on being safe in the
knowledge that the other yachts are in the same bit of water as us, but for
this leg, we have been in sight of several yachts all the time. Even in the
fog banks of a couple of days ago, mastheads would appear and disappear as a
ghost-like presence.

It certainly makes the racing exciting and is driving crew morale high.
Radars are constantly being monitored to check if gains and losses are being
made and who else is going to appear on the horizon. A couple of times we
have been caught out and thought we were only in sight of the two closest
yachts and then as the navigation lights come on at sunset we realise that
we are close to most of the fleet.

Much of the sailing has been downwind and the spinnakers have been working
hard. The wind has also been as low as 2kts and as high as 28 kts. A constantly changing sail plan is used to
stay on the pace which has kept the crew occupied and
fatigued by some hard, physical exercise.

Often the bare essentials are discussed in the daily logs but we took, or
rather I took, the bare essentials a little further this afternoon while
close enough to Pindar. Pindar’s skipper has a saying that flesh is fast and
they had certainly closed the miles on us, so when the yachts closed the gap
and we could yell at each other, I thought I would test the theory behind
the saying. With a little prompting I managed to show Pindar my cheeks, and
they certainly were not blushing! Suffice to say they’re still behind us.

We are now racing hard as we and the other 11 yachts converge on waypoint
Charlie. The weather from there to La Rochelle is looking rather light and
there may be a frustrating but exciting finish to be had for all.