Brazil to Grenada - The last day
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sun 17 Mar 2013 05:45
Having passed Tobago the wind started to veer to the east, forcing us to head slightly north to maintain an optimum wind angle. Eventually we reached the decision point – turn south and head for Grenada or end up in St Lucia. Turning south exposed the full deficiencies of our reefed mainsail and we had no option but to switch to the asymmetric spinnaker. This gave us a speed almost identical to Gunvor and we both crossed the final 80 miles to Grenada on gradually converging paths. We arrived at the southern tip of Grenada with Anastasia just 0.8 miles behind Gunvor. At this point we had to round the corner and turn up into the wind. With a full mainsail it might have remained close, but it was game over for a catamaran with two reefs in the main.
We crossed the finish line 20 minutes after Gunvor. That is a tiny gap after seven days of sailing, and it was fun to have someone to chase for the last few days. After the anchor problems at the start we did set off 1.8 hours later than the others, but we also motored for 2.5 hours in the middle.
Our average speed overall was 9.9 knots. We covered 270 miles in one day for a 24 hour average of 11.25 knots. Our highest 48 hour distance was 536 miles, average 11.17 knots. All this was done after the mainsail ripped. We were incredibly lucky with the wind speed and direction throughout.