White Ocean Racing

Reports 25 January

25 January - Technical sailing.

Audio Clip courtesy Trigone/VendeeGlobe

25 January - Newswire reports - Working in a difficult wind range.

Steve White, GBR, (Toe in the Water): "I am absolutely hard on the wind. It is pretty painful stuff really. It doesn't seem like there is an end in sight. We are in that weather that the boat does not work very well. 16-22 knots upwind. It seemed like through the night we were hideously under powered or hideously overpowered. I settled for one reef and a staysail and am just plugging away.

" I am being lifted at the moment quite nicely which is good, because if not I would have to make a nasty tack to the west to avoid this high pressure in front of us, but here I am being lifted and so I won't have to do that."

I don't think this boat has ever worked very well in this wind range upwind. It is a short stumpy rig and all the sails are very low aspect ratio. The headsails are tacked a very long way forwards, they are quite short and don't go up the mast very far. And so for reaching and running, but the centre of effort is quite low, the heeling moment is low, and so it is ideal for running and reaching . Upwind with the headsails tacked so far forwards, all that happens is that the bow blows off, and then as the wind builds the boat makes more and more leeway. Then the staysail is really small compared to the Solent to stop generating leeway, but the compromise seems to be to use the staysail and one reef, but that is one of the reasons that the boats with daggerboards work so much better, like Calli (Arnaud Boissiere)'s boat which has daggerboards and much higher aspect sails. If it was blowing 30 knots we would be fine.

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