LAT 29 38.7N
LONG 123 25.4E
ETA 0600z 22 Feb 12
WEATHER WIND 140@15kts, Sea Moderate, Swell Confused, Cloud 1/8 St, Cl, Baro 1024.9
As we sail into the Yellow sea conditions are getting colder and fishing vessel populations are getting denser. Last night
there was barely a gap between a massive line of fishing vessels, and the radar just looked like a blob of land it had so
many targets on it. All we could do was to find a gap, or if required tack until a gap opens up and then tack back at the
first available opportunity. These nets are long and strong and if one of them gets wrapped around your keel or rudder its
game over until you can cut the boat out. This would mean dropping all sails and jumping over the side in freezing water to cut the nets away and is not a very desirable situation.
Gold Coast Australia has been racing hard to catch back up to the front runners in the fleet after time and distance lost
due to the MEDIVIAC to Taiwan. To add to the excitement Gold Coast has decided to enter into Stealth Mode as we play our
final cards towards the end of the race hoping to gain enough extra time and miles to wind a position on the podium.
Its a massive challenge to try to gain over 50nm on the three leading boats in two days and will require 1kt of extra boat
speed over the other boats constantly. The crew have accepted the challenge and are willing to work hard to define all odds
and get back on the podium. We are doing it for Tim, it is what he would have wanted and we know that if he were here he
would be doing everything he could to make the boat go faster. I know that Tim and Nick would be already missing the racing
and wish they were here onboard with us for the final exciting miles to Qingdao, and both have made the absolute sacrifice for us to win this race.
Just as i was writing this blog the wind veered enough to hoist the kite and now we have our heavy weight spinnaker flying
in 15kts of wind giving us about 8.5kts of boat speed and 9.5kts over ground. Singapore have been located only 25nm ahead
of us and so our target is set. Stealth mode, kite up, a bag of tricks and 20 hours of racing remaining for Race 8 Singapore to Qingdao.