Updates from the fleet: Saturday June 22 PM

June 22, 2024

By Race Communications

Here are some updates from the fleet.

Photo from Alan Baines on Southern Cross, he reports: “This is how we roll at 10kts SOG.    No windward rail Fer us! Moody 54 Southern cross”

Talisman and Hermie have retired due to mechanical issues and heading back to Newport without need of assistance. 

Young America’s Adrien Blanc posted a Instagram Story showing beautiful conditions today. 

Digger - James Phyfe reports “The breeze filled after dark yesterday.  We had 14-17 knots all night and found the warm eddy.  Ten-plus knots over the ground and some great sailing. We've seen some dolphins and other sea life.  There is still a debate on board about whether "that really was a whale," though. Either way, I'm going to presume it was and add it to the list.”

Pyewacket: Navigator, Peter Isler, provided this detailed report: Well that was a challenging departure from Newport... very tricky with those thunderstorms popping up on the coast erasing our nice SW'ly breeze.  We've had every headsail in the inventory up at some point (except for our heavy weather jib) and that include the drifter.  Yesterday we were having a fun and challenging race with PROTEUS, and OC86  (with the smaller boats right on our heels).   By nightfall we had drifted into the lead - but it was tenuous at best... luckly the SW'ly finally filled in before midnight and we were off - sailing with a beautiful full moon shrouded by the high clouds that moved southwards from the cells/front on the coast.   

Around 2AM - we could see Proteus' running lights indicating they were no longer heading down the course and were disappointed to get the news that they had lost their rig... we made contact with our friends on Proteus and passed on our condolences - with the forecast predicting a long upwind approach to Bermuda in light to moderate winds - we knew we where going to have our hands full. 

With Proteus heading home mastless - we shift our focus to the catamaran Allegra (10 miles behind) and OC86 (13 miles behind) and more importantly our entry into the Gulf Stream.   We are watching the water temperature and the instrument calculated current flow to determine when we can turn a bit left and sail on the warm water conveyor belt for a hundred miles or more.   We are currently sailing at nearly 15 knots so that 3 knot boost will only last for about 6 hours.... the smaller, slower boats will really want to hit the sweet spot because the benefit from the Gulf Stream meander is proportionally greater for them, as they will get more hours in the fast lane.

All else is good on board Pyewacket70,  the flow of the watch system is ticking along and the team is pushing the boat as hard as they can... we'll need all the lead we can build as we reach along - because we will likely be leading our competitors into the lighter air near Bermuda and the gap behind will compress. 

Meridian: We've just passed over the continental shelf.  The depth drops from about 1,000 feet to about 7,500 in a span of a mile or so.  We don't realize it except our charts show it to us.  However, there is often a change in the wildlife we see from here on in.  Our first school of flying fish just flew by over the waves.  We usually don't see those often above the stream .... for sure in the tropical waters.  We have just sailed through a very large pod of dolphins fishing.  For me, this is always a good omen.

Moonstone: All smiles onboard Moonstone CCA Commodore Jay Gowell boat. In the foreground is John Winder on his 24th Bermuda Race. Winder was also the Chair of the Race for 2 cycles and Gowell was the Chair in 2020.

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