Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 4 of Barcelona World Race: Breeze on approaching Spanish island of Alboran

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The Barcelona World Race fleet is enjoying some wind this morning, but unfortunately, the Westerly breeze is right on the nose, so it’s upwind sailing to get to Gibraltar, still over 100 miles away.

Overnight, PRB was able to maintain its lead, not sacrificing too many miles to the others to remain at the head of the fleet. It was a difficult night early…near midnight, there was absolutely no wind, but that situation applied across all nine boats, so no one was able to steal a march on the others.

But early in the morning, the Westerlies began to build and with most of the fleet inshore, close to Spain, the boats tacked out and are now sailing on starboard tack, out towards the middle of the Med again.

PRB and second-placed Paprec-Virbac 2 are approaching the Isla de Alborán, an island taken by Spain in 1540. The small island (less than a kilometer in length) is home to a lighthouse and a small Spanish naval presence.

The fatigue is starting to set in now, after another long night of working hard to eke out every last knot of boatspeed.

Anticipating what was to come, PRB skipper set up night like this: “The situation is pretty hard as we are steering all the time. If someone isn’t at the helm all the time we just don’t move! Just hope things improve a bit!”

And this morning, Jean-Pierre Dick, skipper on Paprec-Virbac 2 emailed in: “When fatigue finally kicks in after the long sleepless nights, my brain starts to focus on one word that I particularly like saying and it goes into repetition mode. Right now it is “Estrella Damm” which I say with a long “ei” in the middle like ‘Estreillllla!’ It sounds wonderful, repeating it over and over again…This morning with PRB in sight, I might change the word.”

It’s not clear whether JP is trying to inspire himself to stay ahead of Estrella Damm, or motivate himself towards Gibraltar, where the first boat will win 60 cases of Estrella Damm!



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