Greetings Sports Fans
I am writing from the mid-Atlantic with a 20 knot wind on the beam moving the boat at 14 knots, making it difficult to type so I will be brief. We started the second leg of the Bermuda 1-2 yesterday with sunny conditions and the wind dead astern for the start inside St. George's Harbor. Gryphon Solo got an excellent start but all four boats in our class were tightly bunched carrying spinnakers as we exited the narrow cut from the harbor out into the Atlantic Ocean. Artforms was first to Kitchen Shoals followed by Gryphon Solo, then Swordflounder, and then Velocity. As we took a hard left to round the mark and head for Newport, our furling unit for our Code 5 spinnaker jammed, forcing us to sail dead downwind until we were able to clear it. We lost about ten minutes.
It then turned into a drag race as we put up our reacher and took off down the rhumb line headed for the Gulf Stream. We have been very close to Artforms but have left the rest of the fleet behind as these Open 50's are very quick in reaching conditions. We have averaged speeds of about 13.3 knots over the first 20 hours of the race. We are only 50 miles from our waypoint to enter the Gulf Stream, which is 330 miles from the start. As the wind is forecast to go lighter after midnight, we are "trying to make hay while the sun shines" as farmers like to say.
So far the ride has been fast and wet, with waves crashing into the cockpit and soaking both me and my sailing partner, Brian Harris. Sleep has been a little tough but it is so much easier with two people! By tomorrow morning, we should be more than a hundred miles past the Gulf Stream. I feel confident that we will be able to manage the light and variable winds for the final 200 miles to the finish line in Newport.
I hope all our gear hangs together in these testing conditions and the drag race lasts a little longer.
Talk to you tomorrow,