Main photo: Vertigo crew Rain Forbes is learning to sail like a cat. Photo Michael Currie

If you learn to sail in dinghies as a child, you inevitably have some ingrained skills.  One of those is being taught to sail in light breeze.

The skill here is to be so gentle with your movements we talk about being like a cat, slinking like a cat, moving like a cat, light like a cat.  This is exactly what is required by this Devonport fleet now in the middle of Bass Strait., as they wallow with little or no breeze.

Yesterday’s wind forecast models showed multiple options and it was a question of belief as to which you should pick.  Brian Pattinson in his new Don Jones 42 Gusto Solo and Tasmanian Tim Olding in his Summit 35 Vertigo basically turned left when they exited The Heads.  They took an easterly route before making the turn back to the rhumbline in the early evening.

Nigel Cunliffe in his XYacht, Scaramouche took the more direct but slightly westerly route and have suffered for the choice. Basically, they picked the wrong side of the weather ‘hole’ that had been predicted by the weather modelling.

Race director Jeremy Walton said this morning, “The challenge today will be to just keep the boat moving, to not give up. They will be slinking like cats around the boat trying not to disturb anything and waiting for the breeze to fill in this afternoon.’

The breeze is forecasted to increase late this afternoon bringing relief to the crews and fleet expecting a finish between midnight and 2.00 am.

Eddie Mackevicius reported mainsail damage on Merlion his Beneteau 40.7 and has retired from racing.  All on board are well.

Merlion crew safely home again. Photo Michael Currie
Merlion crew safely home again. Photo Michael Currie

Follow the fleet on the tracker here

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