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11/21 - 15h17

Three into Two Don't Go!

The battle for the second and third steps on the Rhum class podium intensifies by the mile and it is an unpredictable, exciting mix of three solo skippers who are all in the mix. Sardinia's Andrea Mura - who won the class in 2010 - is in the box seat on his Felci designed Open 50 with a lead of just under 40 miles on Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who still holds third place. And a further 29 miles behind is Wilfred Clerton on the 75ft ULDB ex Kriter VIII.
Key to the podium is likely to be who deals with the passage round the lee side of the island best, the difficult miles from La Tete a L'Anglais.
Sir Robin, inspired and up for the final battle wrote this morning:

Back into 3rd place, but cane we hoild it?  We have had an amazing run of luck with the wind, as only late last night did we get pushed off the direct course for the north end of Guadeloupe.   It means we shall have to put a couple of gybes in to get around the top, but they won't be huge ones.   This has lead to a tightening of the positions between 2nd and ourselves in 4th, too soon to see whether it will be enough for us to close right up.   We were just 15 miles further from the finish than Cap au Cap in 3rd place at midnight GMT with 350 miles to go.   Its all going to come down to how you get through the wind shadow of the mountains on the west of the island.
So it has been a continuation of the crashing ahead policy, keeping the speed high and aiming as close as possible to the rhumb line.
That makes for fun with one of my little treats, the sea water shower. Getting the bucket to go into the water at the transom, instead of bouncing along behind, can be difficult.   Even when you do fill it, half the contents are bounced out before you can haul it back on board.  Still its worth it.  That delicious stream of cold sea water over ones head is a delight few, outside sailors, would appreciate.RKJ

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