Dålig stämning?

Estrella Damm såg ju heta ut när starten gick för Barcelona World Race. Men redan innan start hade det ryktats att stämningen inte var så bra ombord. Guillermo Altadill är känd för att ha kort stubin och och puckla på navigatören när det inte går bra.

Därför är det spännnande att läsa rapporterna från hans co-skipper, den lågmälde Jonathan McKee. Man fastnade i doldrums och ligger nu 622M efter ledande Paprec Virbac och 164M efter klungan. Detta innebär att man inte ens ligger i samma vädersystem som de andra. Och det vimlar inte av omkörningsfiler i södra oceanen.

“…one of the hardest days”

I must say this has been one of the hardest three days of my life. Granted we had been having a rather bad race, whether making some poor decisions or being unlucky or some combination of those two. But we were still in the race, something like 30-50 miles behind the group in front on Sunday morning. But somehow they kept a lot more consistent breeze than us since then. We have spent most of the time either becalmed (much of last night) or light headwinds with a bad seaway, with only intermittent periods of good sailing breeze to allow us to escape this hell on earth. According to our weather data, we should have had decent breeze the whole time, and better than the boats further west. But obviously those predictions have been wrong and somehow our competitors have analyzed the situation better than we have. Each time we would get a good southwest wind we would say, ok here we go at last, only to have it disappear within an hour, and we return to the DOLDRUMS, Heinous place…

I must say I have never been 500 miles behind anyone, although I have sailed lots of bad races in my day. The worst thing is it will probably get a lot worse as all the boats ahead are likely to jump ahead a weather system as we get into the southern hemisphere. Maybe not, I remain optimistic of course, but that is the likely scenario. Now we have lost complete touch, not just with the leaders, but with the group in from of us. So we have nobody to race against except ouurselves, although that is a worthy enough adversary at the moment. And still 2 months to go. We need to find a way to get back to within striking distance, without taking any huge risk that could take out of contention permanantly. Never say die. Although motivation is not currently at it’s highest point.

We have also had trouble with our watermaker these last 2 days. This is a critical breakdown, and if we can’t fix it we will have to stop, because we rely on it for nearly all our water. I will try to work on it some more now, I remain optimistic I can fix it. To stop would be hugely disappointing for me personally, not to mention the further damage to our competetive position.

Jonathan McKee