Melbourne Osaka Double Handed Race - Plenty of unpredictables

Escapade taking the lead so far in the ongoing Melbourne Osaka Double Handed Yacht Race 2013
Brian Abbott
Melbourne Osaka Double Handed Race 2013. At 0600 sked this morning, Cadibarra8, Optimus Prime and Wasabi have all broken through the 1000nm to go mark with Spirit of Downunder soon to join them. Of course Escapade is already through with 750nm to go. She still has a lead of 186 nm but there are plenty of unpredictables yet.

There has been gentle banter among the fleet about the pack hounds chasing down Escapade which no doubt prompted Robert Bradley, Skipper, to send through this report.

Escapade in the lead. Yellowbrick Tracker - 2013 Melbourne Osaka Double Handed Yacht Race
Yellowbrick Tracker
'... And as they come around the Marianas Islands and into the home Strait, it’s Escapade by 150,000 lengths to Optimus Prime and then a few thousand lengths back to the pack. They straighten for the run home and Escapade looks to be fading. What a gallant effort from the tiny boat by Farr out of Binks, she's led them all the way as the pace maker (plenty of pace makers on board as it happens) but looks to be tiring a bit now as the pack start to reel her in.

The crew are riding her hand and heels (there's a glass of red in the other hand) and they've given her one last call ... yes, she's responding, look at her go! The pack seem to have lost their spirit (we're down to our last 2 rations of rum as well) and Escapade is showing them a clean pair of heels (finally had enough water for a wash - last week). Past the 700 mile post and it’s still Escapade. Can she hang on to the finish? ... stay tuned for the final exciting episode.

Yep, were flat to the boards,seven knots+ close reaching with the number two and a reef which I’m about to shake out as the wind continues to ease from an overnight high of 19 kt down to 12s and 13s. Billy Joel has followed CCR on the Radio VKV short play list (shuffle, repeat on the Ipad - 500 songs 33hrs). Watch the tracker to see what we do with the remnants of the low off Osaka as we play our final cards in an attempt to out fox the hounds. Our wind models are up to date as of last night and the next 24 hrs looks challenging.

Both the main and the number two are starting to look very tired, the main is starting to look like a patchwork quilt and the number two is delaminating along most of the foot section despite the chaffing protection we've applied. Still plenty of spinnakers (all of them in fact) left for the run up Osaka bay and ample stock of 3 and 4s as well as the spare main which has already had a run.

Highlight of last night was the Trifle Joey whipped up for happy hour, which we finished off with the Deb/Andrew Muesli this morning, yep nearly 5 weeks of eating that muesli and it still tastes great.'

Melbourne Osaka Double Handed Race 2013