After the heatwave and Carnival atmosphere in Gdansk, we were soon bought back to reality with an introduction to the real Baltic experience. Following concerns about wind strength and direction, shortly after the race start it began to veer from a North Easterly, which had us initially heading off course, to a South Easterly blowing a steady F5 gusting F6. This made for exciting sailing and a rude awakening on the floor for Sam, but most importantly enabled us to hurtle up the Baltic on a parabolic course that put us in a position to slingshot round the race waypoint into the Gulf of Finland in a fashion NASA would have been proud of.
This morning, thanks to Cap’n Clare and Bosun Marcin’s dinghy style tactics and sail tweaking we were rewarded with the news that we had not only climbed to 9th in class and 11th overall – but broken Lord Nelsons record of distance travelled in 24 hours with an outstanding 219 miles at an average speed of 9.1 kts. Last night the voyage speed record so far was reached by Terry of Fwd Stbd with an incredible 11.7 kts.
Shortly after the start, the competitors headed off in different directions depending on their tactics making for some lonely night watches but as we reached the waypoint the field reconverged leading to some real racing, notably with the Georg Stage. After some Olympic style sail setting we passed them and are now heading due East close to the wind with the sheets as tight as bow strings. As we near the finish the anticipation of more close encounters is increasing.
Gnasher, Fwd Port, Lord Nelson.