After the tough experience presented by the Northern Pacific we are currently enjoying more relaxed sailing. Although, just related to the conditions since we are in the middle of the fight for a podium result. This comes with frequent sail changes and quite a thrill, checking what the other boats do and how our options evolve with wind changes. But we are in moderate sea, just enough wind to come along well and we can’t push the boat to its limit.
Seattle is great!
The last stopover in Seattle was just great. Seattle is an awesome place. We had weather the city did not have for years so early in the season. Of course, we did not complain, and the conditions were perfect to recover from the prior leg. And gather some new motivation for the coming challenge. The latter was the more difficult task, the race was long, and we are looking forward to the final arrival in Liverpool end of July. Anyhow, with enough motivation in our pockets we left Seattle towards Panama City end of April.
The current race works well for us, we are in 3rd position. Again, we have a great result in sight. Tendentially and as predicted the wind will get less and less, hence the race control have defined 5 finish lines. These can be used even retrospectively, also when the first boats crossed it already. In worst case the race ends 1200 miles away from Panama. Of course, we are hoping for steady winds to make it closest possible to Panama City.
Now we have a massive wind hole ahead and memories of the last race become present. Then, the fleet got compressed only few miles before the finish; at least this time we have a fully functional boat and we can defend our good position best possible.
Maintenance on top of the mast
Ocean racing would not be ocean racing if there would not be constant fixes needed. The offshore conditions clearly challenge our material. Earlier this race we had a massively teared light wind spinnaker. Thanks to our sailmakers, only 48 hours after intense and non-stop repair it’s up in the air again. This sail will play a very important role, the closer the race comes to an end. Also, we had some maintenance needed on the mast top. I had the pleasure to work 30m above sea level to replace the blocks of our spinnaker halyards. Working up there is quite exhausting, because the body needs to be under constant tension to stabilise. But the awesome view puts that into relation.
Next Stop: New York
In Panama City we’ll cross the famous channel to the Caribbean side, where the second half of this leg starts. It will end in New York City, just in the marina behind the Statue of Liberty. I really hope we’ll arrive late evening, to have an awesome night view on the skyline. And still some bars open. If we’re coming back to the motivation mentioned earlier, the channel and arriving to New York were clearly on the pro side.