Artemis Transat: an uncomfortable sea state is forcing some competitors to slow down 23/5/08

After the best part of 12 days at sea, Giovanni Soldini, left, (Telecom Italia) is the only Class 40 to have passed the mandatory ice gate imposed by the race organisers to reduce the risk of collision. The sea state is becoming uncomfortable for the competitors, and many are feeling it wise to slow their boats down to avoid breakages. Today’s conditions are expected to get properly rough, but fortunately for Loik Peyron, and the rescued Vincent Riou – the first Open 60 – they are expected into Boston tonight.

Reporting in briefly this morning was Miranda Merron on board 40 Degrees, currently lying in forth place among the Class 40s:

“The breeze has been steadily building since yesterday morning, and settled around 22 knots, occasionally up to 25, so that’s all fine. However, the sea state is foul. You know the pictures where the boat metamorphoses into a bird? We have been attempting that on and off all night, unsuccessfully so far. 40 Degrees is still a boat, and crashes back down to the water. The boat was slamming so hard, I thought it wise to slow down for a while, which stopped most of the boat’s attempts at flying. Irritatingly the Gulf Stream is pushing 40 Degrees to the north, and the eastern end of the ice gate is 20 degrees left. I would like to beat Fuji to it, but he is closer. And must be airborne part of the time too! It will help once it gets light. Sorry, but it’d too rough to type any more for now.”

“Giovanni has sailed a superb race and shown the rest of us how it’s done.
He is the only one through the gate so far.”

“Thanks to the following degrees (and thanks for the upwind crashing – of which only another 50 miles or so…): Cuppa Cino – I will come and say hello next time I’m on platform 9, Clapham Junction!”

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