Day 9 finds all but two racers ticking off the halfway point and everyone is reporting the wind building. Double Espresso is maintaining his lead in distance to finish, if he hangs on and doesn’t break anything major, we can expect that he’ll be the first to say Aloha. As the wind fills in on the whole course, there is not likely to be a whole lot of change in position among the first few boats, though those in the clump could see some movement as conditions better for heavier boats. The racers will move from “doing everything to keep the boat moving” mode, to “doing everything to keep the boat from breaking” mode. Always a fun transition.
We saw Kyntanna stabilize her track a bit with the stronger winds, and Owl became our new northwest flyer, heading off even further relative to the past northerners. Nightmare also tracked more northerly today, as did Fugu. Dark Horse advanced a little further away from the comfort clump. We heard Dolfin and Jacqueline are in active avoidance mode of each other. Morning Star is still holding off to the east and Riff Rider is our southern most track. Wind should hold for most for the remainder of the race, and least for the front half of racers. Tropical weather may disrupt the tradewind flow for the slowest boats, it all depends how well they advance in the current wind. It is amazing how northerly overall this fleet has been able to sail, almost straight rhumb-lining it. And though slow, they really did not have to experience days of jelly fish passing them by. I wonder if they know how lucky they are!