Typically tropical, hot, humid weather is affecting the entire fleet as they head up the Atlantic Ocean on the fifth leg of the VOR

Typically tropical, hot, humid weather is affecting the entire fleet as they head up the Atlantic Ocean on the fifth leg of the VOR.

The big rain clouds occasionally create wind, but more often they suck it all the away leaving the competitors stuck in holes of no wind. But there is a tactic for dealing with them as djuice skipper Knut Frostad describes: “During the night we’ve been sailing through a few, and they’ve been shaking the fleet about a little bit, but not too much because it’s quite clear all the boats around us have the radar running and they are monitoring the clouds and each time there is a rain cloud coming we have a similar approach – we try to get in front of it.”

News Corp, who had forged their way into first place soon after the start and opened out a 20-mile lead, got stuck in no wind and lost their advantage. While in the northward flowing counter current, they enjoyed higher speeds over the ground than the rest of the fleet to the east. Now as they slip from favour and hit the Brazil Current, their boat speed has dropped substantially. To compound the problems, Ross Field today mentioned that they seemed to be hit by every black cloud in the area. However, he is still confident that their course to the west of the rest of the fleet will continue to pay off.

But the overwhelming feeling on board is of the heat. The Pilotfish data sent back this morning from on board each yacht shows temperatures down below in each as being a sticky 29-34 degC. Roger Nilson described conditions on Amer Sports One: “Sleeping is very, very difficult. Only at night can you sleep. At the moment it is the coolest time of day and it is 32deg. At the hottest time yesterday it was 37deg below decks. It will become more bearable as soon as we come up into the north-east trades.” For the crews this comes a stark contrast to the conditions they experienced on the previous leg, but the consensus back from the boats is most prefer racing in the extreme heat to the extreme cold. This is mainly because of the stress factor, which although high is much reduced in these waters where the chance of collision is limited to occasional flotsam and there are no death-defying passages through fields of potentially lethal icebergs.

Position Report, Day 4, 0956 GMT


2 AART (1 mile behind leader)

3 ILBK (1 mile behind leader)

4 AONE (2 miles behind leader)

5 DJCE (3 miles behind leader)

6 ATOO (9 miles behind leader)

7 NEWS (13 miles behind leader)

8 TSEB (16 miles behind leader)