Relentless, the modified Nelson Marek One-Design 35 has crossed the most meridians, but somewhere around 140º west, the Criminal Mischief crew will say “Aloha! See you in Hawaii!” to Tim Fuller and Erik Shampain on Relentless.
Alfa Romeo, is flying at 16 knots just north of 26º30' and has recently passed Bengal 7, the Division 3 leader and the frontrunner among the Japanese Transpac Race entries. Later today, Alfa will storm out ahead of the entire fleet and will probably overtake the communications vessel, Alaska Eagle.
Early this morning, we received word from Murray Spence on Alfa, “Day 3 goes down as the day we reached the Trade Winds. The grey overcast skies have given way to sunshine and the wind has veered round to be east of north and filled in nicely. The down wind Code Zero has been doing good service and the remaining sails are all stacked on the weather rail giving us fast comfortable sailing. Our second day's run was just on 400nm and our third should be much better than that.
We had to do 2 more back downs today to remove firstly a piece of fishing net from the keel and then a plastic bag from the rudder. These followed one back down on the first day to remove some seaweed from the keel. These back downs are quite costly, but the drag on the boat from not removing the debris would be much worse over the long run. The full moon is out tonight giving wonderful sailing conditions.”
The Barn Door trophy for the fastest elapsed time is up for grabs. Akela, Bill Turpin's Reichel Pugh 78, leads the traditionally ballasted boats. OEX and Pyewacket have sailed over 700 miles and are separated by less than 5 nautical miles. Grand Illusion is within striking distance and could surf past Pyewacket or OEX if either of them have to back down to remove kelp from their keels.
You need to zoom out to super high resolution to separate Flash and Samba Pa Ti, the leading TP 52's from Medicine Man, another frontrunner in Division II.
The telecommunications wiz, Philippe Kahn, is sending some wonderful AV material off of Pegasus. To get a feel for what it is like to sail in the Northeast Trade Winds during the day and night, go to http://www.pegasus.com/log.htm and follow the links to YouTube.
It's not a green flash that Division I and Division II boats are seeing to the far south, it's Lynx firing off cannon in honor of the racers that are passing them. Don't worry; Lynx is many parallels below the Division I and II stampede.