Day 39 (Thu 11 Feb 1330 – Fri 12 Feb 1330)
The conditions again hamper crews as they made good just 1000nm, the sixth successive decline in as many days. Red Arrow continue to be the inform crew, clocking up another 58nm over the last 24 hours, and continue to climb up the leader board and are now 9th and 7th in fleet and class respectively.
Charlie Pitcher continues to lead the fleet, and while he is well inside the last 1000nm he may well want to look on the horizon. The leading pairs are moving very well through the latest weather system, and have not only pegged the gap, but are starting to close in on his lead. While he is still moving quickly enough to stay clear of them before Antigua, should he continue to push his body as hard as he has been, he may well reduce his rowing hours, thus slowing the boat. No crew has had a lead so large and lost it with so little to go, but then records are there to be broken…
Most followers will know that competitors are rowing approximately 12 hours a day, and for a lot of the other 12 hours crews are ideally eating and sleeping. It is also well documented that crews carry out repairs, be that on the mechanical components of the seats and the rails or electrical issues within the cabin to maintain communication. However, when all the essentials are done there is still a further consideration – how can you improve boat speed?
Adjusting ballast and weight distribution, may not just trim the boat, but also to help speed. All the time the rudder is not perpendicular to the transom, while it maybe steering it is also adding a large amount of drag and resistance resulting in reduced speed. By altering weight distribution, it maybe possible to assist boat alignment with the sea and reduce the need to use the rudder, thereby reducing drag and increasing speed, perhaps something for crews to think about…
Britannia III and her crew completed their crossing at 1637 UTC yesterday after almost 39 days at sea. To read more about their endeavours see the Press Release on the news page of the official website.