LAT 33 21.718 S
LONG 171 16.985 E
DTF 1019 NM
ETA 0600Z 12 DEC 11
Throughout the night Gold Coast hugged the coastline until the tide turned and then we headed north allowing the backing
wind to bend our course around to North Cape New Zealand. The wind backed as predicted from the north to the south west
over a period of 12 hours allowing us to remain on port tack as we sailed into the Tasman sea and commenced our sprint to the Gold Coast in Australia
Gold Coast Australia passed the North Cape of New Zealand at approximately 0500z this morning and passed into the Tasman
Sea. At about the same time we managed to overtake Derry and now we are hot on the heals on Visit Finland. Despite our
determine efforts to sail the boat hard and fast, trimming for every extra knot of speed Visit Finland seem to
be consistently faster than us no matter what we do and Olly and the guys are obviously sailing the boat very well indeed.
Despite the current question of why we are going slower than Finland everybody onboard is very motivated and continue to
work the boat hard as we are all focused on our goal to get to the Gold Coast in first place.
At the moment Gold Coast Australia has another problem. With our generator out of service the only way to charge our
batteries required for navigation and communication equipment is to use our main engine. Unfortunately the intake for the
main engine is positioned on the port side, so when we sail on port tack at an angle of more than 10 degrees air gets into
the intake which may cause the impeller to self destruct and the engine to overheat. We are very cautious about this
happening and so when we do have to run the enging one of the watch-keepers must be spared to stay below and inspect the
intake to ensure the egine is getting water. Another way to solve the problem is to use less power, so for now all
computers are switched off apart for during happy hour and sked times, all lights are switched off, and all AC power sockets
are switched off until we can flatten the boat out and run the engine to charge the batteries. It is however a lot more
peaceful without the constant wine of a generator and computer fans, and it is nice to be sailing without the use of computers for a change.
Due to more forecasted light winds, conditions are not overly favourable for crossing the ditch this time and it looks like
we are going to have a slow but exciting crossing. At present there are 4 yachts within 10nm of each other and we are all
gunning for first place to Gold Coast. If me and my team are successful we will be only the third yacht in the Clipper
race history to achieve a home port win, and we will also beat Hugo Boss’s Alex Thompson’s record of 6 consecutive victories
in a row. This race will no doubt be the closest and hardest fought race of the series so far and everybody onboard is pushing to the max to achieve victory.