Surf's Up

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Sat 6 Dec 2008 06:03
14:40.12N 41:02.80W
Friday 05 December, Days Run 182NM
Flyer had her best day yet in the ARC clocking up 182NM and in doing so surpassed the mileage of every yacht in our class. Also for the second time she amazingly had a better day than the 3 Hanse 630's also sailing, whatever our final result I will always be immensely proud of both these achievements as both yacht and crew have showed their resiulience and class in an exhilirating day of sailing.
We had continued overnivgfht with 30-35knots of wind from the NE which were causing Flyer to surf down some steep swells and it took every effort of concentration to keep her on track. The Simrad autohelm which can cope with pretty much everything thrown at it was frequently overidden to allow us to helm through the seas and stop Flyer rounding up. The winds eased gradually over the day to around 20knots and we were able to shake the reefs out by mid afternoon, the conditions all day had been absolutely glorious with bright sun and a dazzling following sea. The frequent surfing in these conditions allowed us to claim a maximum peak speed of 12.8knots and we were often above 10knots, I think this was the fourth day in a row we had exceeded our "mission statement".
The end result of this downwind blast was that we have moved up to 8th in class and 107th overall in the fleet, both of these positions are un cottected for handicap.
There was very little sleep taken by everyone onboard during the night so during the day was catch up time untill everyone had recovered a bit of balance in their sailing/sleeping cycle. We had our evening mealo out in the cockpit followed by a slideshow of photos on the laptop while Flyer gurgled along effortlessly at 8knots, what a contrast to the previoius night!
We are still seeing many glides of Flying Fish and some seabird activity on our travels.
The forecast continue to show a large area of low pressure vto our North and varying areas of almost calm con ditions on route. We continue to assess each grib forecast which so far have been invauable in choosing our straegy. Once beyond around 45W it now seems a good flow of NE'ly winds has become established, we are hoping these will lead to a fast finish towards St Lucia.
Dave Sturrock