By Luke Scott
JM Busha believe they are through the worst of the weather they’ve tackled in the last 24 hours, where they reported seeing 6m waves and very strong winds while running with the storm.
The co-skippers Michaela and Ryan’s dad Michael sent the following message this morning: “News from the team is that they had a hard night, under reduced sail and encountering 6m swells. With daylight, they sailed out of the last of the really rough stuff and are now under 2 reefs and the storm jib heading more West. Tough bunch this team! Proud of them.”
Haspa Hamburg, the JV52, are currently in the thick of it and interestingly approaching the heavy sea and winds more perpendicularly for now. Perhaps this is the advantage of the greater freeboards and waterline length, to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, but it’s going to be super uncomfortable aboard?
Further north, the Class 40 double handers on Mussulo 40 are choosing a strategy somewhere in between the Haspa and JM Busha techniques. Their course may bear off further south as they encounter any deterioration in conditions, but they appear to be able to get through the worst of it in daylight today.
Right up above 18°S, the 49’ catamaran Sulunga elected to ride out the worst of the storm hove-to and well north of it. Conservative and sound seamanship. With daylight, they appear to be back up to speed and pointing west!
Mojie are now following a similar track to where JM BUSHA were about 21 hours ago, and should be in a favorable position to have options on how much south or west they want to make in daylight today. The storm is currently acting as predicted and the fleet further back should not have to deal with such extreme conditions, as they have sensibly made the effort to sail north west to avoid the worst of it.
If you’ve followed the tracker – the frequency of which was bumped up to hourly for the duration of the storm – you will notice a number of different approaches were taken. Adriana, for example, have sought refuge behind an island; some boats slowed; all altered course.
Boats like Zulu Girl and Almagores were well south a few days ago, and faced a proper KLAP! But they came north.
To win a yacht race, you first need to finish! (Or is that the other way round?!)