The big tri, after sailing halfway to Maine to skirt a massive Azores High, is finally starting to change course toward the East, and is slowly bending onto the rhumb line to the finish off Ushant.
BP has a lead of about 844 miles on Groupama's reference time, and just a bit more than 2000 miles to go. As BP hooks into a big low moving out over the Atlantic average speeds are climbing, so Peyron and his crew could/should be home by the end of the week. That would mean shaving 2-3 days off the existing record.
What could stop them? A breakdown of almost any kind.
Here's the latest from crewman Brian Thompson:
Just come off watch, and we are gliding along 'gently' at 23 knots in 14 knots of wind. We have full main and medium gennaker up.
We are approaching the corner of this big, windless High Pressure area, so by this time tomorrow we should be well round the corner and curving our course towards home. We are currently still not 'heading for the barn', unless that barn was in Maine, USA…
We will be in the lighter airs of the High tonight before we touch the new Southerly winds that will take us home.
This morning was another 'good watch', – full of stars at first, with Ursa Major (the plough or the big dipper) to the North, pointing the way to Polaris, the Pole Star. All are stars of the Northern Hemisphere, and unseen by us for most of the last month..
Then dawn very slowly crept over us from the Eastern horizon, illuminating the boat lumen by lumen, and making it easier to steer the boat to the telltales on the gennaker.
And finally, we played with a series of early morning rain showers, steering the boat around them to keep in the best winds. In a boat like this, much faster than the wind, we can use the clouds to our advantage, rather than be a victim of them..
Anyway time for my off watch now, and time to get the sleeping bag out, just to have as a duvet. Temp down to a v.pleasant 22/23C.
We are now on the same latitude as Key West, Florida, and 800 miles NE of Antigua.
Thinking I might now be able to make the RORC Caribbean 600 race, in Feb from Antigua…a busman's holiday, as we say in the UK..