Pete Cumming and crew are currently battling it out in the ARC. Here's Cumming's first daily report from somewhere in the Atlantic

In an effort to defend last year’s ARC line honours title aboard the VO60 ‘Spirit’, Pete Cumming and crew are currently battling it out with the likes of ‘Leopard of London’ and ‘Amer Sports’. Here’s Cumming’s first daily report from somewhere in the Atlantic.

Logged: Monday 22 November 23.36GMT

“After a not particularly exciting start on Sunday in a light south-easterly breeze we had a slow beat down to the most eastern corner of Gran Canaria. Here there was room for us to bear away and hoist our code 1 (light air reaching spinnaker). We were in a small group of three alongside ‘Leopard of London’ and ‘Stay Calm’ and we could see ‘Amer Sports’ just out in front with their giant code 0 which gave them a little speed advantage early on.

“As soon as the spinnaker went up the crew were focused with the aim to squeeze that little bit of extra boat speed to pull away from our little pack and start to catch ‘Amer Sports’.

“By the time we reached the bottom of the island there was more work to be done, the wind went to the north-east meaning we had to peel to the code 2 (biggest light airs running spinnaker) with some slick work from the crew it was done in no time at all and we started to pull away from the group. Just after sunset it was time to do our first gybe and head off on our more westerly route. Again it was another slick manoeuvre by the crew and we could see our hard work for the last six hours pay off as we crossed the bows of ‘Leopard’ and ‘Stay Calm’.

“We chose to go on a more westerly route due to the weather patterns for later on in the week. As of now we don’t know how many other boats have chosen this route I have a feeling not many although we do have one boat behind us on the horizon which is slightly comforting knowing we are not the only ones going this way. By the end of this week we should be able to see if are tactics have paid off or not. The crew moral onboard is great, most people are still buzzing from the start and excited about the new adventure they are about to undertake.

“The whole crew are working hard to keep the boat speed up and slowly getting into the watch system of doing 3hrs on and off in the day and 4hrs on and off at night. We are all looking forward to finding out the other boat positions to see if our hard work for the last 24hrs has paid off.”