Monday, January 10, 2011

Sails Up and Ready to Fly

It’s actually quite wonderful sailing at the moment, I’m enjoying a lovely day down here, but unfortunately for the last three days I haven’t had as much breeze as my nearest rivals, Gutek and Derek. They’re killing me!

I’ve been trying to get through this high pressure system and currently have every ounce of sail up. I couldn’t put up another stitch of cloth if I wanted to, unless I took my undies off and hung them from the rig! I must look like a bird from afar with all the sails flying high, but I guess that is appropriate for Le Pingouin. Actually, not so much as penguins are aquatic, flightless birds. I really do want to fly! I can’t do any more to squeeze speed from the boat. It’s good boat racing but it sure is hard work.

I had a pretty good lead coming out of that low pressure area about a week ago and I was watching carefully what was going on in the Tasman Sea. I’ve been pipped at the post here before and I’ve also pipped someone else at the post too so I know the Tasman Sea is a very tactical spot. This high pressure system developed and the worst case scenario happened: it came down from Australia and elongated west of Hobart all the way across to New Zealand. In an effort not get completely parked I moved south pretty quickly. I’m glad I did as it kept me in the game. However, it also consolidated the three of us in a pretty big way.

I’ve been looking really hard at which way to approach Wellington and I think I have more options than the other guys, but the weather really is very difficult to nail down. To be honest I haven’t really decided how I am going to tackle it. Going west might be a good option, but it’s a pretty unconventional route. New Zealand has some huge mountains which really affect the wind. To the east I will get some fairly serious upwind conditions. There are factors here that could really set me back if I get it wrong. There is no doubt, this will be interesting.