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Transat Jacques Vabre - 11th Hour Racing chasing the wind + Video

by Julianna Barbieri on 5 Nov 2011
11th Hour Racing - Hugh Piggin (l) - Nick Halmos (r) - 11th Hour Racing in the Transat Jaques Vabre Julianna Barbieri
Transat Jacques Vabre - The most terrifying thing about having no wind is the thought that everyone else has the thing that you so desperately want. We have been struggling for most of the night in winds less than 10 knots. We know, or at least we think we know because we have a fancy computer that tells us so, that somewhere to the west of us is a 20knot express lane to the south west. Just so happens that is exactly where we want to go. We just got a look at the 2am position report and while we managed to squeak some miles in, we now appear to be one of the easternmost boats, which is unsettling since we know the wind we want is to the west.

The trip out the channel was fairly uneventful given the ass-kicking we were expecting. Overall, we feel that we must sail the boat conservatively to gain the ultimate objective of getting to Costa Rica in one piece, but with a first generation boat in this fleet, sailing against such a talented group of sailors, sailing conservatively is the one thing we can't do if we don't want to get shot out the back. On the trip out the channel the angle and velocity was marginal for carrying the Code Zero. So we took it down out of caution. The leaders obviously did not take their sails down, but as the position reports show the leaders just sent it. Good on them.

The latest weather files show that we are going to get a real beating this weekend by a pair of back-to-back fronts. So if you see us trying to put some miles in to the south, that's us running from the inevitable.

Video of Hugh Piggin and Nick Halmos assessing the fleet and how they think they’ll perform:

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