Kip Stone watches his Route du Rhum lead vanish like ice cube in sun. Stone's latest log 14/11/06

American Route du Rhum competitor Kip Stone says he’s been watching his lead in the Class 2 monohul fleet vanish like an ice cube in the Caribbean sun. He now has just over 300 miles to go in the finish but is struggling in soft conditions. Here’s Stone’s latest log:

“I haven’t been getting much sleep in the last two days as I’ve been watching my lead over Servane Escoffier vanish like an ice cube in the Caribbean sun. Since the start of the race, Servane has not been afraid to go for the corners which makes her hard to cover and, in the last 24 hours, created the opportunity to cut my lead by over 100 nautical miles.

“Like one of those bad dreams where your legs are like rubber, I’ve been struggling in soft conditions to work my way to the west while she’s descended towards Guadeloupe on a conveyor belt of stable breeze. Finally, at about 1400 this afternoon [yesterday], I broke through one more squirrelly band of breeze into the wind she’s been enjoying – just in the nick of time. Fabulous racing!

“The pressure is not off yet as there are soft conditions ahead for the next day or so until we finally break through to some light but steady easterly breeze to the south. In those kinds of conditions, anything can happen so now, it’s back to keeping the boat moving along and squeezing in some sleep where I’m able. Less than 400 miles left in this race. In a very short time, I’ll be back in the land of palm trees and Pina Coladas.”