Wednesday July 19th
Position: Latitude: 24 14 North Longitude: 142 08 West, Course Over Ground: 243 true, Speed Over Ground: 12 knots
Skipper’s notes: Pegasus sailed fast all night. I was on deck most of the night. Beautiful night sailing. Barefoot, surfing down the big Pacific swells. Pegasus is like a giant 70 feet carbon windsurfer. The huge spinnaker and mainsail power her up the back of the big waves and then we accelerate down the face of the wave, bailing out before we reach the bottom of the next wave. We then use our momentum and the lifting power of our sails to surf the next wave. I spent the night steering, trimming the main, the spinnaker, grinding, then steering again. Throughout the night the two watches alternate. Because we are racing, life is very regimented. At sunrise Brent was steering I was trimming and pumping the mainsail for him. Gundy was trimming the spinnaker and Greg was grinding the spinnaker sheet. I went to sleep for an hour. We all have different sleeping patterns. In general I find that I can sleep more deeply offshore and that I only need about three to five hours of sleep in small increments for every 24 hours. Something that comes handy for single handed racing, but that is also very helpful with a team of 12. Mark sat in through roll-call, the process by which all 70 boats in the race report their individual position daily on the single side band radio. At 10:30 am, Mark woke me up with a big smile on his face: “Our strategy to go deep South and sail more miles to find more wind sooner already paid off: Pegasus averaged 1.5 knots more than her closest competitor throughout the last 24 hours. From 25 miles behind, we are now 8 Miles ahead.” Nice. Very nice. There is still a long race ahead of us, but we are now in a position to be first to finish, our goal for this race. Pegasus is now 880 miles from the finish line in Hawaii. Marco Constant took notice of this fact, and decided to organize a betting pool: Each one of us gets to bet on three ETAs to Hawaii. We each put up $10 per ETA for a total jackpot of $360, winner takes all. The most optimistic bet is Friday the 21st at 23:00 HST and the most pessimistic one is Tuesday the 25th at 08:00 HST. Mine are stacked between Saturday 01:00 and Sunday 01:00. As I was writing my log tonight I received an email from our friend Mike Field, Hawaiian sailing canoe skipper extraordinaire. Mike was telling me that he was sea-trialing our brand new Hawaiian catamaran outside of our home by Diamond Head and that they were happily sailing in 25 to 30 knots. It then dawned on me that the twelve of us sailing these fast modern giant carbon ultra light displacement machines are not much different from our ancient Polynesian relatives, criss-crossing the Pacific a thousand years ago with super fast catamarans. The same Ocean, the same trade winds, the same swells to surf, the same exhilarating speeds. Mike attached a nice card that he designed to his message. Nice art Mike! It sure looks like the sheer cliffs of Kaneohe Bay and “China Men’s Hat Island.” Can’t wait to be there! On-board the mighty Pegasus the night has now settled in, the winds are blowing steadily at 15 knots, we think that they’ll pick up later. We may still have a small chance to set a new record. The time to beat is 7 days, 22 hours, 1 minute set in 1996. We’re racing Rage for their record. Nice turn of events: We went from a very slow race to a slight chance of a record! For that to happen well need the winds to pick up to an average of 20 knots and clock 15 degrees. We’ve seen stranger thing before. Still no sign of Greg’s socks.