LAT 07 32.3N
LONG 141 05.6E
ETA 0600 26 Jan 2012
COG 270 SOG 10
WEATHER Wind 060@20kts, Sea Moderate, Swell N 2m, 060 1m, Cloud 4/8 Baro 1005.9,
As we near the half way point in the race today Gold Coast has reflected on the race so far and where we have done well and where we could have done better.
Not to sound pessimistic but we have not had the best “luck” so far this race. Our stern glad gave us problems until we
replaced it in the Coral Sea, Sails have ripped for no apparent reason and winds have not played the game. Our “luck”
colmenated yesterday evening when we were sorting out some spinnaker problems on the foredeck and the mainsail ripped in two
just above some re-enforcing that had been done in Taronga to prevent such a tear.
The crew have been fantastic so far this leg and I have been very impressed with their good spirits and positive thinking.
There seems to be a strong can do attitude and everybody has no complaints in knuckling down to get the work done onboard
without question. There has been constant unpicking and sewing of sails basically since the start and the repairs done on
the mainsail last night were of a fantastic quality and will no doubt serve us well for the remainder of the race.
Why the mainsail split last night is anybody’s guess as the wind was only light and there was no flogging. Some poor
stitching or chafing from the battens may have been to blame as some was noticed on other batten pockets we inspected and
temporarily repaired while the mainsail was down. Further repairs will be completed in Singapore even if we need to take
the sail to KL on a bullet train while we are there there is no doubt that the mainsail will need to be 100% before the start of the race to Qindao.
Our tactics so far this race were good up until the Solomon sea where there could have been more research in local
conditions (though they did seeem quite random). In the pacific which is were we are at the moment all of my research
pointed to the Right hand side of the course (northern) particularly as we crossed the equator there was absolutely no wind
at the time to the west and we had no option but to head north. Now it seems all the new race leaders have just sailed
right underneath us with better winds and currents closer to the equator. It feels like I am missing a valuable piece in
our tactical puzzle and at the end of the race if somebody can tell me what it is I would be most appreciative.
Given all the problems over the last week, we have decided that our present position of 70nm behind the leading boat is
insignificant. A 3% increase in boat speed is all that is required to catch the leader and now we are focused on recovering a podium position prior to the finish at Batam Island near Singapore.
“Luck” is what you make it and we are probably the most prepared team in the fleet and usually our “luck” has been pritty
good. We also have a fantastic team full of smiles and personality who also know how to sail and have a can do attitude. So
far this race we have had our fair share of bad “luck” but now that is behind us. Onwards and upwards for Gold Coast Australia!