Phil Sharp reports from Imerys Clean Energy

Position: 2nd 

“The last 24 hrs have been stronger downwind conditions which has been great for pushing the boat hard and building up a bit of breathing space on Aina. However, it is only roughly 20 miles and I am all too aware that when the breeze drops off a bit today, Aina should have the upper hand on boat speed in the semi-planing conditions – and she can sometimes be 1 knot faster in these conditions!

“I am pretty exhausted currently as I’ve been on the helm pushing the boat night and day, trying to put the miles on, whilst also finding time to sleep, eat and navigate.  The spare autopilot is not fast in these conditions which is why I am helming a lot, and it has some issues itself. Last night it switched itself off which led to another Chinese gybe and the boat lying stopped on its side. Not so fast!

“It is very exciting to think though that I’ll be arriving in Guadeloupe soon, under 300 miles and a lot can happen… We still have to pass in the wind shadow of Guadeloupe which is usually makes for very variable sailing conditions, so I will have to bank some sleep over the next 24hrs.

“These support messages are brilliant! Can’t thank people enough… The rum is getting closer… I think I can smell it now! – Phil”