Friday, 18 October 2013

Team Australia power past half way mark but light winds ahead for Sydney to Auckland record attempt

From the following article submitted to Sail-World by Lisa Ratcliff

Conditions have abated to steady for the weary Team Australia crew now past the half-way point of their Sydney to Auckland record bid.

At 7:00pm tonight yacht tracker is showing them travelling east at 18.7kts. With a front coming from behind, respected meteorologist Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham says they can expect 20 knot average winds all night.  At 4.30pm (Sydney time) Team Australia had chewed through 620 nautical miles and made it through the roughest patch of the 1,260nm voyage in terms of swollen seas and high winds, which turbo-boosted the 60-footer to a top speed of 38kts, or 70km/h, without a hand brake.

For the crew, being on deck at extreme speed on this imposing 5.6 ton multihull is akin to being under a high-pressured fire hose. Down below is less fire hose more steady leak with water infiltrating the living space through the hatches and making it tough to find somewhere dry to grab a kip.  There could be another rough patch up ahead requiring a different type of concentration. Light winds are forecast to plague the final stages of the attempt, as the crew make their way around New Zealand’s North Island and down the east coast to the finish between the southern edge of Auckland’s North Head and the front light beacon of the Rangitoto Channel leading lights.

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