Day 72 (Tue 16 Mar 1330 - Wed 17 Mar 1330)
Great excitement mounts with the impending arrival of crews into English Harbour, Antigua. Red Arrow are the next crew due in, lying just 20nm from the finish line at the end of day 72. They should make land at some point this evening or the early hours on Thursday morning UTC.
Close behind them, Dream Maker, the mixed pair of Mick Birchall and Lia Ditton are just 53nm from the finish and will be looking to cross the line at some point tomorrow.
Neil and Dean on the Spirit of MA have put in a fantastic performance over the past week. Problems with their tracking beacon have meant they have been manually confirming their position. While their position was not updated for the end of day 72, they had been in front of their fire fighting friends onboard Pendovey Swift and were lying an incredible 12th. They had also been leading a group of 7 crews with just 26nm separating them all from the finish. It will be quite fascinating to see how the last couple of hundred miles plays out for these crews.
Dave Brooks managed to communicate with a German sailor yesterday, though he doesn’t say it in his blog, one wonders if this is the same German sailor that 2 other crews have seen and had trouble communicating with at sea during the race…
Finally many crews have expressed their excitement at the prospect of receiving some strong easterlies in the coming days. As reported yesterday, the forecast suggests easterly conditions from Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and should last through the weekend and possible into next week. These winds will also get gradually stronger, and in places be up to 25 knots so crews will hopefully be able to surf down some waves and make up some of the lost ground over the last few weeks.