Saturday/Sunday update

Graham Deegan
Sun 29 Nov 2009 18:12
Hi Team,
Another day, another update.  As I right we are quietly running in about 15 knots at a speed averaging nine and bit knots.  Almost perfect conditions but perhaps a a bit too perfect after recent days which were a bit more edgy.
Starting from last night.  It begun with a brief debate as to whether we would run fast or run safe.  It was decided to run fast and we left the kite up although we did change to the heavy air spinnaker.  The breeze varied from 14 knots to 25 with quite of lot above 20 knots.  Twenty is good, twenty five is a touch too good however we came throught it all right and maintained a good speed in roughly the right direction around the nominal rhumb line.  Blasting down wind in moderate seas with a three quarter moon is to be experienced and the concern caused by fear of the dreaded squalls which apparently can produce gale force winds for 20 minutes or more just gives it that little extra spice.
We heard last night that we had improved our position by one place although we are now starting to see that the tactics over the next few days will be crucial.  We are trying to position ourselves for an expected large scale veer while at the same time not wanting to stay too far north because it maybe that the winds will be stronger to the south.  Chris our weather man continues to do a good job but of course we have the added bonus of being able to blame him if we get the next bit wrong.
The crew continue to get along well despite the boat being incredibly noisy and crowded and sleep being a difficult to come by commodity.  This might be because Anthony assisted by Piers is doing such a good job with the food.  Libby's excellent cake served promptly at 4.00 pm every afternoon by the Preacher is probably also a factor.
At about 2.00 pm ships time (16.00 GMT) we were crossed about ten miles ahead by another competitor who had obviously decided to go south.  The fact that he was in the race boat start (20 minutes ahead of us) and 90 foot long made us feel pretty good.  When we looked at his number via his AIS we could see that he was not going any faster than us either.  So as previously stated.
So far so good.