Bouwe leder med 8 M - tippar på målfoto mot Dongfeng

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Brunel fortsätter att leda, snittar 22,8 knop, men är försiktiga - vill inte tappa riggen och komma först i mål. Foto Yann Riou/Team Brunel

Vem orkar längst? Och vem vågar gasa mest? De faktorerna kommer att avgöra etappen till Itaji.

Med 800 M till Itaaji pågår igen en duell, nu mellan Brunel, som tog täten i Södra Ishavet och Dongfeng, som idag måndag ligger tvåa, men bara 9 M akterut. Bouwe Bekking tror att det blir tajt hela vägen in i mål, att det kanske kommer att skilja bara en minut mellan hans gula och Coudreliers röda buss, som han kallar båtarna. Men Bouwe vet också att gasa med måtta, att inte riskera riggen eller seglen. Han manar sin besättning att hålla igen, varpå man satte fraktionsgennakern inte den till masttoppen. Vilket ser ut att ha varit rätt drag, man gippade i perfekt tid, drog ifrån Dongfeng några mil. 

 

Under tiden är Scallywag snart i hamn på Chiles västra kust och Vestas kör motor upp till Itajai, i hopp om att få på en ny mast i tid för nästa etapp till Newport, som dessutom är teamets hemmahamn. Visserligen var det årets skämtdag igår, men ingen rolig dag för skepparna Charlie Enwrtight och Mark Towill, som fick utstå skämtet att båten koinfiskerats av myndigheterna i Hong Kong för att plockas ner och byggas om till fiskebåt ät den de körde på utanför Hong-Kong. Inte snällt, men speglar mångas reflektion kring Vestas - är båten otursförföljd?

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 Kyle Langford och Nina Curtis på sitt pass efter Kap Horn, Varmare, men fortsatt kallt, friskt, blött väder. Foto Yann Riou/Team Brunel.

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Byta försegel, att få upp ett större på förstaget för att öka spalteffekten, är ett jobb som kräver fyra man på däck. Foto Yann Riou

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Knepet för fördäcksfolket är allktid vara kopplade och samtidigt hålla balansen och klara av att hålla i sig. Foto: Yann Riou/Team Brunel

 

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Äntligen varmare väder och mindre vind gör att stämningen stiger - och spänningen - ska Bouwe & Co lyckas leda  ända in i mål? 

Monday 2 aprilMonday 2 aprilLatest from skipper Bouwe Bekking onboard Team Brunel:
Currently having the the tail of the last heavy weather sailing, does it  it ever end on this leg?  The good news, we have been eating the miles towards the finish quickly. The last 5 hours we averaged just under 24 knots!!!  
You think you will be making big gains, but NO, only 2 miles on Dongfeng, they are pushing as well hard for the oh so important  difference of the 3 extra points to be gained by becoming 1st in this leg. 


You think we will have healthy lead, but the bungy cord gets shorter again, actually not existing anymore, as the routing having Dongfeng and Team Brunel finish within a minute. It will be a battle between the  yellow and the red bus for the next 36 hours.
Yann, our OBR, has been battling all day long to get his burned media station up and running, cable and wires were laying everywhere in the boat. Feeling sorry for him, he can't do his job properly, as even a simple task like charging his computer takes forever. He think he makes a win, then realises that the entire hull is wired as well, then going back to square one.


It hasn't been his day, he nearly lost his beloved drone, as soon he launched it he lost connection. Some French temper flared up, some good sounding French words made it happen for him, he someway, somehow got his drone back, after it was a couple  of kilometres away from the boat. 
The OBR's are not supposed to be be crewmembers, but I can tell you he is one of us, all onboard are looking after Yann.
Unfortunately he will not be with us for the next leg, as he goes back to France to play with a real toy, the 100 ft foiling tri Gitana. He will probably only yawn when sailing onboard there doing our current speeds :-)  


"Dear Yann,  already a big thank you from all of us at Team Brunel for the splendid work you have delivered. It was a great pleasure to "sail" together on this epic leg."
cheers,Bouwe

Söndag 1 april Update from Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking: 

How quickly the human brain can forget quickly the "bad" things is remarkable. Of course, some things we will never, ever forget. But the boat is a full on chatter box again, talking about all kind of things, plus finally plenty of maintenance jobs are getting done.  We have nearly forgotten how pleasant it is not to get wet, on a relative smooth and still doing around 12 knots of boatspeed. We have managed to pass the high pressure system to the east, who will now most likely become a total blocker for TTT and Mapfre.  

The moment of gybing was critical. Capey was like a hawk last evening and night, drinking one after the other coffee. You gybe too early, you lose to Dongfeng, you  gybe too late you lose as well. It was a bit of trade off, further to the east potential better pressure for us, but being further to the left Dongfeng, you get a better shift as the wind rotates anticlockwise around the high pressure system.

But think we nailed it perfectly, when we gybed we could see far on the horizon behind us a small masthead light... the "enemy" behind us, a big relief. Abby just went up to the rig for the first time to do a rig check, very bouncy, so armed with a helmet and lots of clothing on, up she went. We clipped her onto the genoa halyard so that in case she would lose her grip, she wouldn't "fly" away from the rig.

But she went up like monkey in her element. She stayed way too too long up at the top of the rig to my liking, but she was adamant to fix the AIS. If she managed we will find out if a ship comes in the vicinity. Then she scrutineered the rest of the rig as good as possible, no obvious issues she could see. Had my first shave, was starting to look like Santa Claus and must say feeling like a newborn, plus a fresh set of clothing for the first since Auckland, smelling like roses. 

cheers,Bouwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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