Knox-Johnston honours Stamm and Shiraishi and keeps up the pace in the Velux 5 Oceans 1/5/07

DateTuesday 1 May 2007
PositionLatitude 44 25 North Longitude 014 49 West
Miles To Bilbao526 nm
Distance In 24 Hours229.2 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours9.55 knots

What a finish Bernard and Koji provided. Just 43 minutes separating them in the end at the finish of this 3,500 mile leg. Koji has got better and better in this race and he was clearly very determined when he went out and hung onto Bernard all the way, but the way he closed in at the finish, to within four miles at one stage, was the stuff of novels. I declared a headland in honour of their achievement.

I thought I would lose out badly to Unai after yesterday morning’s very light following winds and was surprised to find we were still 299 miles closer to the finish at midday, but he was doing 12 knots in the right direction, whereas Saga Insurance was only making 7.5 knots and 45 degrees off the right direction. The reason is that there is a new westerly airsteam coming in and being west of us, he got it first and had closed another 14 miles by yesterday afternoon. Nothing to be done but wait, and the wind did come up from the SW mid afternoon. However looking at the weather predictions ahead they are not so good for me as I run into Easterlies along the north Spanish coast and will have to beat my way the 170 miles to Bilbao. That’s where luck comes into this game. None of this was predicted 24 hours ago.

Created a final Pot Mess for dinner. Plenty of food remaining on board, I could probably go on for another couple of weeks on it, but my diesel fuel for the Volvo generator would run out early next week.