AG2R Day 12: With almost 2,000 miles to go Sharp and Krizek are gaining on race leaders 2/5/08

Racing duo Phil Sharp and David Krizek, onboardAtlantick FT, have climbed another two places in the AG2R Transatlantic – from concarneau, France to St Barth, West Indies. With about 1,800 miles to sail, the pair are only 30 miles behind race leaderFinanco, crewed by Nicolas Troussel and Christopher Pratt (see left). Phil writes:

“We are OK but slogging it out upwind. Everything is getting harder and to be honest a lot less enjoyable! But it’s all good really. We are in fourth, which is cool – it really helps when you can smell a result. It is keeping us going. The weather is looking really unattractive for the next 5 days its non-stop upwind, so not the usual conditions for crossing the Atlantic. It could be a race of attrition in these monotonous conditions, but we’re staying focussed and on the pace.

Our biggest worry, is that we are really running low on food so we are really hungry. We’ve got lots of snacks like nuts and saucisson, but not enough meals. The problem with double-handed sailing is that it’s easy to think the other person has done the packing! Plus its going to be a much longer race than we thought, we’ve still got another 12-13 days to go – may get in on the 14th May?so we are down to half rations?

The upside is that the sun is out and we’re happy to be in 4th. It is great to be focussing on the leader rather than 13th/14th place as we were a week ago. We really want to get into the top 3 now. We’re in the same weather system as the leader, which is good. Its all a lottery and will depend on who gets into the trade winds first, all very unpredictable and all to play for. Our route definitely wasn’t the most comfortable, but will hopefully be the fastest. We’ll be in and out of depressions for the next few days – that’s for sure.

So all in all, competitively we’re feeling confident and motivated, but feeling quite sick from hunger and pretty tired. I’ve had an hour and a half sleep in the last day as we’re banging along which means your head keeps falling out of the bunk.

I checked the decks for squid this morning and promise that the first thing that lands on deck will be cooked! I didn’t cook the squid the other day as I was too tired to cook it, but I was so hungry that I just had to eat it straight away. I look forward to trying the flying fish in the Trades, which the French sailors love – but then they will eat anything!”