Alan Roura's weather situation has grown increasingly complicated as the high pressure centre moves over him today and so he has to sail a more northerly course. He is not now expected to finish before Monday.
Conrad Colman has been making his best speeds yet under the the jury rig, more than six knots at times when reaching. Yesterday he made close to 100 miles. He has to try to me north of La Coruna today before the wind changes before the winds changes more to the NNE but that would require him to be faster and that seems unlikely. However he should get north of the TSS before the wind shifts. He is now less than 515 miles from the finish.
Rich Wilson is still in light westerly breezes around 15kts and so making steady progress on a direct route which might even see him at the finish late Tuesday. Didac Costa has much the same course and conditions. They will have the same conditions until Monday.
Romain Attanasio had a bad day yesterday but today Saturday looks a little better. He will however have to route north of the high pressure, sailing more miles before his finish which looks like Friday. He will have SSE'ly winds just now at 15kts rising to 20kts.
Pieter Heerema is still in a trade winds regime of E'lies but it is lighter now. He reported that he can only sail with three reefs in his main and so was slowed, but will try to make a fix when the wind drops.
Heerema wrote from No Way Back:
"Still fantastic trade winds weather, only I should be sailing downwind to enjoy it . The banging and smashing is slowly getting less frequent as the wind is slowly shifting right, but the size of the swell is huge so theviolence of the shocks still great. No wonder the Brits say :" gentlemen don't sail upwind"
As the race duration is so long I decided to take stock of food and clothes.
Warm clothes no problem, hot weather clothes: did some laundry the last 3 days and should now be OK as well. Food: dinner and snacks more than enough, in fact I could easily turn around at Sables and sail to Cape Town again on it. What I am short of is breakfast material like Muesli, bread and breadlikes .
Rationing a bit and some disciplined dividing will let me just make it to Sables though.I even found my long-lost 3rd jar of real Calve peanutbutter. But now a shortage of bread to put it on..;-(
Also enough water , if the watermaker breaks down it is going to be hard but not impossible.Diesel: way too much.
So all in all that is good.
At this moment the only worry is I can only use the mainsail in reef 3 position (=very small sail).This means with less wind I will slow down a lot. If the wind drops down far enough I can probably repair it, but because I have to be in/on the aft end of the boom I need quite flat water ,and to do the job only limited wind pessure in the sail. Yesterday I moved the port foil in 50%, the noises coming out of it's bearing were scary. So as long as the boat regularly falls in deep throughs of waves I have to be careful there as well. Especially as there is a chance I will be
on that foil all the way to the finish.Yesterday afternoon for a short moment there was a sequence of particularly loud bangs; looking at the boat's wake an empty grey 50 l gas bottle surfaced.It did hit the starboard rudder, but there is no vibration or otherwise so I think I was lucky there.
So on we go , fast and safe to les Sables. If no unforeseen and if the big High behaves like the forecasts it could be Sunday 26 in the afternoon. No promises though !!! "
Sébastien Destremau is in the Doldrums and slowed and it will be at least tonight before he starts to find a more consistent wind. He has 80 miles to the Equator.