Ericsson 4 media man Guy Salter takes stock in his YW blog as the fleet compresses
We are in the doldrums! Lots of big rising cloud cells around us, trying to dodge as many as possible. This is a time when the crew can be tested to the max with lots of sail changes and many gear changes to try and get through as quick as possible.
At present the fleet is spread over a couple of hundred miles (east to west), and on the 3 hourly sched we are not in a great position but we feel that being to the west should prove beneficial in the long run – even though we lost, we hope to have consolidated our position a great deal. For sure we will not be the leader coming out of this changeable zone between the northern hemispheres NE trades and the South’s SE trades. But we do hope that we are on the side of the leading pack and can therefore ‘ stay in touch’.
Green Dragon made a big play a few days ago to get west and it seems to have paid very well, I think this option may not have been so easy for us having been in the leading pack for most of last week, with our tactics very much concerned with the boats around us.
Then with Tony’s medical evacuation late last week some of our tactical options went, but it was definitely the right decision as we need ‘Big tone’ for the rest of the race and if he had stayed here his health would have suffered dramatically, we have heard that after a couple of days in hospital and continuing medical care he should be good to go for leg 2.
The boats to the east have been looking good for the last 24 hrs and unexpectedly have been making good runs south where it was expected the doldrums would be a fair bit wider We on E4 are hoping this to stop in the next 6 hrs and see the swing of power back in favour of Green Dragon, Puma and us.
Time will tell???..