Speed or caution?

Sailing aerial images of the IMOCA boat Spirit of Hungary, skipper Nandor Fa (HUN), during training solo for the Vendee Globe, off Les Sables d'Olonne, on October 27, 2016 - Photo Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendée GlobeImages aériennes de Spirit of Hunga

Nandor Fa (Spirit of Hungary) – “Crossing the equator was interesting. I can tell you I was lucky – it took only two days to get through, we crossed it very quickly. I expected much worse. I didn't stop at any moment, all the time I was moving. I was really happy with the passage. I didn't sacrifice any drink for King Neptune, I just said thank you. But all my thanks go to Neptune because I had a really great crossing. I have a forecast for the south Atlantic and the frontrunners are doing 24 knots right now. For us, there will be a huge high pressure which will be very difficult for all of us in this back pack to go through. Right now everything is nice, but I guess we will see what has happened in a couple of days. I'm very happy with my situation. It would be nice to be up at the front but I'm doing my best. I'm pretty sure there will be some more difficult days but right now all is well.”

Pieter Heerema (No Way Back): “Once a day I look at the other boats around me to see if I have gained or lost a little. If I have a try to work out why that's happened and what I can do about it. I don't worry too much about it – it's still a really long race and I don't care too much about where I am in the fleet. I'm feeling fine except for the one issue with my back, which is getting much better although it's still not gone. If I put pressure on it it shoots back immediately as it did yesterday when I had a little setback. But the trend is really an upward one and in a few days I should be over it. I would never make 531 miles in 24 hours because I'd take the foot off the throttle before anything like that happened. It's fantastic that Alex has done it – he deserves it, he's a speed addict and a very good solo sailor. I hope he keeps the boat in one piece and remembers he still has a long way to go. I keep in mind that it's a long race and that there are many more weeks to come that will be more difficult and more uncomfortable. On the other hand I also take it day by day.”

Ross Daniel, technical director of Alex Thomson Racing: “I spoke to Alex this morning. He's been going at quite some speed through the night, and obviously when you're sailing at those sorts of speeds it becomes quite stressful. It's not that easy to relax and sleep. He's got lots of options to take his foot off the gas if he wants to – he could reduce the sail or reduce the amount of foil in the water. The boat is going fast but the loads aren't big. He's already reduced the foil and probably isn't carrying the biggest sail area he could in these conditions. The sea state isn't too bad either. When I spoke to him this morning and told him he was close to the record he hadn't actually realised. He's not out there to set records, he's just sailing the boat as normal. If he does break a record it's a bonus but it's not what he's trying to do.”


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