Now We Are Four
Light winds for fleet leaders, Spirit of Hungary at Equator
Spirit of Hungary are 40 miles from the Equator this morning, still slow in the Doldrums but the weather prediction is that Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman are through the worst of it and should emerge into the NE'ly airstream soon. It has been very variable for Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman and they will certainly be pleased to break out and into the upwinf elevator north, However trade winds north of the doldrums are backed well to the left, N/NNW, and are lighter than normal. This will result in slow northward progress as they must sail upwind in light air for some distance.
Renault Captur in fifth are in better shape today. Jorg Riechers and Seb Audigane had a rough day yesterday, reporting some electrical problems with the boat as well as their weed battle. But they are quickest in the Barcelona World Race fleet this morning and making a good course due north at the latitude of the Cape Verde islands. Yesterday they were battling weed, as they reported:
"Where does all this seaweed come from?
Over the past five days, Renault Captur has become a combine harvester picking up huge amounts of seaweed over the last 500 miles or so. They are getting caught up in the keel, the leeward daggerboard, the rudders and the hydrogenerator. It’s great fun having to reverse the boat every hour!
Yesterday, there was so much weed that with each wave Renault Captur found herself with a few kilos on the deck or in the cockpit.
We end up with some in our hair mixed in with flying fish scales.
Flying fish, you ask. Yes dear, these flying fish must be crazy as they keep landing on the deck, in the cockpit, on the boom, ... everywhere.
There are big ones, small ones, and some in between and they leave their scales all over the boat.
As it’s fairly warm and we’re in bare feet and wearing shorts, we keep walking all over these scales mixed in with the seaweed, which is really nice when you lie down in your bunk.
Apart from that, we discovered a problem with the engine three days ago. We can’t get it started. I spent a day checking the diesel, the connections, the terminals, etc. We’re still trying to find a solution, as it’s probably something to do with the electronic power supply card.
Of course, with all this weed, the hydrogenerator is not working anywhere near as well as it should be and it’s hard to charge up the batteries.
So we’ve had to shut down the electronics, the autopilot and everything else to save energy.
If anyone out there can explain what is going on in our very own Sargasso Sea, please let us know."
One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are now leaders on the race course. North of Madeira they are 600 miles to Gibraltar while rivals We Are Water are 750 miles. They are getting into some very light winds today.