LAT 02 11.4N
LONG 106 34.4E
ETA QINGDAO 0600 22 FEB 12
WIND 015 @ 12kts, Sea 4, Swell N 1.5m, 6/8Cl, Baro 1011.0
Thanks to some good tactics, navigation, sail trim and helming Team Gold Coast have managed to gradually to over take the
other yachts one by one and at the last sked were leading the fleet who are almost all now lined up to the south of us and
in visual sight. The crew have been working and concentrating very hard to keep up our boat speed and height as we sail through the South China Sea in almost perfect sailing conditions.
Looking at the weather developing a few days ago I was expecting to still be drifting close to Singapore at the moment but
the winds have been very kind to us with a constant 10-13kts of wind. With our biggest headsail up, full mainsail and a
staysail we are sailing at about 8 kts which is very impressive for this stage of the race. It will be interesting to see
how the actual weather correlates to the forecast and when the other yachts decide to tack and make some miles to the north.
Navigators need to make sure they don’t leave the tack too late or yachts risk sailing in uncharted waters, fishing fleets
and oil rigs. There also seems to be less wind forecasted on the eastern side of the course but also less current or even
the occasional back eddy of northerly current which may assist the yachts. As a result the decision on when to tack could be the difference between a winning and loosing decision.