40 Degrees, Solo and 11th hour racing have been holding 3rd 4th and 5th place in Class 40 for the last five days since emerging from the line of North Atlantic depressions they were forced to tough out with the rest of the TJV fleet. This is a much more significant result than simply because the boats come from one design office. The breakdown of nationality of the six co-skippers are two Americans, two Norwegians, a New Zealander and a Brit.
40 Degrees ( a generation 3 boat) and Solo (a generation 2 boat) had been toughing it out in the north and during the week edged south down into the line of the fleet. The newer 40 Degrees slowly extending over the course of the week and closing to under 100 miles from the second place boat.
Meanwhile, there’s been an impressive performance by American Nick Halmos and New Zealand Hugh Piggin on the US based Class 40, 11th Hour Racing (ex Cutlass, ex 40 Degrees)sailing on their second generation design among newer boats including the Pogo 2 Groupe Picoty, winner of this years Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables Race.
Nick Halmos in another of his fun dispatches:
"That's right sports fans it’s halftime. 2500 miles down and 2500 miles to go. If we actually knew how long the race was going to take would we have even left the dock? You bet, but it doesn't mean we haven't started to miss simple things like ice and a full night sleep on a bed thatdoes not crash and bang. This race is all about endurance. Keeping the pressure up 24 hours a day, day after day, takes its toll after a while. Both of us are looking forward to just being able to chill out and not worry about boat speed for 5 minutes."
"After two days floundering around in the bottom of a high-pressure system, we broke free yesterday morning and have had an action packed run since. The breeze piped up good and proper and we spent the night surfing down big waves with sustained boat speeds in excess of 20 knots. When these boats get really juiced up they are a high adrenaline experience. It makes for some big grins."
And from Hannah Jenner on 40 Degrees:
“It is going well but it would be pretty nice if our ballast system was not leaking like crazy. That is what I have been doing this morning, trying to fix it and bail out, apart from that we are good. Once we have filled the tanks and shut the valves, the big central tube empties about eight buckets of water in to the boat. Jesse is on deck I am working on it.”
“It is been pretty lively out here where we are. The GRIB files have shown 18-20kts and the reality has been 25 with gusts to 30 so it has been quite full on. We are having to hand steer a lot just now, it is a bit too lively under the pilot which has tried to gybe us a couple of times, so we are doing two hours on and off during the day and one and a half hours on and off during the night and constantly hand steering. We are coming down on a nice band of pressure; we are doing OK on Solo behind us in terms of distance to the entrance to the Caribbean. There are two races still, one from here to the Caribbean and one in the Caribbean to the finish. I think in near future we can keep making some miles on the boats in front. They will still be a bit ahead in the Caribbean but not so far it is not beyond the realms of possibility.”