Day 52 (Wed 24 Feb 1330 - Thu 25 Feb 1330)
After yesterdays strong progress crews have again been pegged back, making good just 400nm in the last 24 hours. The weather continues to reap havoc across the fleet. Overnight, the crews furthest West suffered first as the winds turned to come from the South – while crews towards the back of the fleet continued to have light Easterly winds.
By late morning on Thursday 25 February the entire fleet had Southerly winds, which by the afternoon became highly unstable as an area of low pressure moved across the north of the fleet, again creating unpredictable wind direction with low speeds, up to 10 knots. Such are the conditions that many crews are now using their para-anchors again in a bid to limit ground lost over the coming days.
Several of the crews have alluded to the fact that while the wind speed is low, there is little cooling effect for the body, increasing the risk of dehydration. One of the responses to combat this risk is for competitors to increase the volume of water consumed. While this is a simple response, it requires the water maker to be on for longer than normal each day. While this is well within the limits of the equipment it means that it is working harder than normal, so crews are using more power – which in the short term, could ultimately have a knock on effect for the rest of the electronic equipment on board.
Charlie Pitcher is agonisingly close to the finish, having just 22nm to go after 52 days. He was the first to receive these Westerly winds, and until they subside enough he won’t be able to make land. However, there should be a big enough window to get in tomorrow but only time will tell if this comes.
The Beech Boys have done there best to prove there is more to the ocean than just ocean, having seen an inflatable crocodile, a couple of buckets and a plant pot in recent days. Elsewhere, there was another race in the race, this time it is the Boogie Woogie crew of Ole Elmer and Brian Olsen. They were Able to race a turtle and after a closely fought battle, they won, prompting a celebratory cheer from Ole.