Day 5 (Fri 08 Jan 1330 - Sat 09 Jan 1330)
The last 24 hours has seen the best rowing yet for the fleet, and the race is really opening up into a game of dare. As it stands the crews leading the fleet, Karukera and Vivaldi (Rames Dames) have opted to head west before the rest of the fleet, so naturally they are getting closer to the finish. But, it is well documented that the winds towards the Caribbean are stronger the further south you go. With that in mind, expect to see the crews that have made further south to lose more miles to the leaders, but when they do turn and head West South West they may have stronger tail winds pushing them along, allowing them to ‘sling shot’ past the crews to the north.
A lot of the crews are now experiencing the beauty of ocean rowing. On the one hand you put your body through physical barriers you never though possible, with sores and blisters appearing everywhere doing the best they can to hamper your progress and get you down. But on the other hand, you see things many people only manage to talk about. The natural beauty of a night sky free from artificial light with stars glistening all around and the appreciation of a clear sky with a full moon lighting up the ocean around you as you row through the nights. Suddenly it is not the early morning latte before work that you count as a luxury; it’s getting through 2 hours during the night without a wave coming over gunnels soaking you while you row, an experience that most of the competitors have now endured.
As it stands, Karukera still lead the fleet by 8nm and the pairs class by 10nm to QBE Insurance Challenger. Vivaldi (Rames Dames) are second in the fleet and lead the fours class by 18nm. While JJ, 19nm behind the fleet leaders, leads the solo class by 16nm. As a fleet they managed to row a total distance of 1303nm of which over 1000nm were made good. These figures are all the more impressive when you realise there have been no updates since 0700 hrs on Saturday 09 January – update to follow.
Britannia III ended their fifth day with 2388nm to go, having made good 62nm over the previous 24hrs, and they were still heading South West.