I have been pushing really hard in pretty rough conditions. Right now I am tight reaching with 20-25 knots of wind with it gusting a bit higher. Le Pingouin and I are covered in water almost all the time on deck. She is handling it well – I must say better than I am for now.
Derek is a man on a mission and he is not letting up. It is a great to have a small lead, but I am definitely dancing on the edge of control. I have to believe he is as well. Derek is a tenacious bugger and his boat is fast. In fact our boats competed against each other in the 2002-3 Around Alone race (now the VELUX) with their previous owners onboard and his boat (then named Solidaires) beat my boat (then named Tiscali) by quite a margin. I think we are both anxious and excited to be sailing toward home in North America. I can almost smell the sweet reward of arriving in Charleston. But for now I need to deal with a low pressure system coming off of Rio, and trying to stay in front of the fleet. The introduction of stealth mode should prove to be a fun dynamic to the tactics of this leg, and I look forward to seeing who uses it and when. Thanks for checking in and stay tuned as we race up the coast.