Week 6 update
Crews have now endured 6 weeks at sea and have battled incredibly bravely to be where they are. To date nearly 39,000nm have been rowed towards English Harbour, Antigua, which represents 51% of the total race distance – the fleet are over half way. Furthermore, with the leading crew just over 600nm from the finish and the crews towards the back of the fleet 1900nm from the finish, the fleet are spread across approximately 150,000nm2 – an area twice the size of the United Kingdom.
Before setting off a number of records were up for grabs. The first that crews look at are the class records – the shortest time between the start and finish for a particular boat. For the fours, pairs and solos these records are 36, 40 and 42 days respectively. Sadly, as this is day 43 there will be no class records. Previous races, including that of 2005 and 2007 have seen the fastest fours finish inside 50 days and the fastest pairs making land a few days later. This year however conditions for the fleet have been far from ideal, with crews losing nearly a week on para anchor so far - little wonder that the class records still remain.
There are several other records crews are vying for. Annie and Mel on Explore Adventure Tours are challenging for the GB Women’s pair record, currently 73 days. Based on current speed they are in front the record by 8 days. Elsewhere Norman and James Beech are trying to eclipse the current father/son record of 78 days, and on current progress will beat this record by approximately 5 days.
The crews have struggled over the past few days with little or no wind to aid their travels, having made good 1600nm over the weekend. Depending on the local conditions some crews have used their para anchors to hold their position. However, the forecast now suggests that most crews in the fleet should benefit from North Easterly and Easterly winds of approximately 10-15 knots, so better progress should be expected for the next few days.