Mari-Cha IV leads Maximus by 27.3nm in the Rolex Transatlantic Race

While the leaders of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge were confronted with 40 knot winds yesterday, the rest of the fleet have been sailing in light and sunny conditions.

Current leader in the Grand Prix class Robert Miller’s Mari-Cha IV lost the lead temporarily to Carrera yesterday, who is sailing the more direct course to the north.

In second place is Brown and Buckley’s NZ yacht, Maximus, by 27.3 miles.

Mari-Cha IV’s Navigator Jef d’Etiveaud reported, “There is a lot of wind with 40 knots from 200 degrees (south-southwest). We are changing from a No. 4 jib to a storm jib. And doing between 25 and 30 knots, averaging probably 24 knots and pushing 30 in the gusts.”

Now into the Gulf Stream, the seas are hammering the state-of-the-art 140-foot maxi schooner. “This morning we had to slow down the boat, because it was so bad,” continued d’Etiveaud. “It was a big sea with thick waves, very big waves.”

Mari-Cha IV and Maximus continue to take a long loop south while Joe Dockery’s Carrera perseveres with the great circle route, closer to the shore, but with the prospect of facing severe headwinds.

Mari-Cha IV has been maintaining its southeasterly course in order to get across the path of the oncoming depression and into favourable winds on its eastern side. Yesterday, they celebrated owner Robert Miller’s birthday on board with a cake.