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Velux 5 Oceans skipper Derek Hatfield anticipates the finish

by Derek Hatfield on 27 May 2011
Derek Hatfield gets underway onboard Active House on Ocean Sprint 5. Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/VELUX 5 OCEANS Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
Velux 5 Oceans update from Active House skipper Derek Hatfield.

Hello from Active House,

The last few days of each leg always seem to drag on, in anticipation of the finish. This leg is no exception and as one can imagine, given that it is the final leg of the race, it will drag on a little longer. This leg has been a very technical one; with the gulf stream to deal with, then a high pressure system sitting in our way forcing us into the Canadian coast and the ever present fog to play with our minds. Finally, there has been the intense low-pressure system that sprang from nowhere and intensified with every weather file. Luckily, the low developed above us and not below, giving us downwind conditions. It would have been much worse had we to deal with upwind conditions in 50+ knots of wind.

The fleet is now less than 1000 miles from the finish. My position in the south is not favoured at the moment and I'm trying hard to keep the pace up with the others to the north who have a better angle on the finish line. The seas are horrendous and confused and I am sailing as aggressively as possible keeping in mind that I can push too hard and break something. At this point, I just want all of us to finish safely.

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