• A Call to AntarcticaOn March 10, 2009 at 13:43:19 French time, Skipper Rich Wilson and Great American III crossed the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne. Race time: 121 days, 41 minutes and 19 seconds
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Day 117 - We're close, but not finished

  • Mar

    1635 UTC, 45/05 n  20/54 w, 11 knots @ 125T, solent, 2 reefs in the mainsail, approximately heading for Cape Finisterre. High pressure system is rotating on its axis and we should get a bit of a header to bring us closer to course, but it hasn't happened yet. Had a dicey gybe in the very early morning dark with two reefs in the mainsail. Too much wind to do that; should have gone to 3 reefs before gybing. When you get both backstays on, with the main trimmed hard in the middle, the pilot has a very hard task, and the boat rounded up and wouldn't steer off to do the gybe. I'd rolled up the solent beforehand, so there was no head sail to push the bow downwind. That bit of conservatism contributed to the problem. Also, had taken some keel off, so we weren't really upright. Anyway, finally got it sorted out, but it showed that we have a long way to go yet, and we have to keep at sailing the boat, night and day. Just because we're close, doesn't mean we've finished.