White Ocean Racing

Reports 22 February

February 22 - Newswire reports - White's frustrating angles.

Steve White is fighting the angles today as he beats upwind to try to make best time to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne to secure eighth place in the Vendee Globe. White has 434 miles to sail this afternoon but is still slamming upwind into a nasty swell. This afternoon he reported that Toe in the Water is making steady progress but he is just frustrated by the contrary breezes and the poor upwind angles which his boat makes. His is a vicious cycle at the moment.

Toe in the Water, a relatively older, wide boat with a fixed keel and sailplan more optimized for downwind sailing needs more breeze in order to sail to narrower angles to windward. But more wind means bigger seas and more crashing and bashing around. "I am slamming away like I don't know what, here. It is just so frustrating. This boat must be just about the worst there is in the fleet for going upwind. Norbert's is a narrower boat with a canting keel and that would be preferable. In this wind I tack through anywhere around 100 to 105 degrees and below 15 knots that rises to 120 degrees and that really dictates where I am going. If I can get up the to the north of the latitude of Les Sables and the NE'lies hold it could be OK, but down in the south of the Bay it is a bit light and swirly."

"It is very frustrating because it seems like every time I tack the wind heads me." Said White this afternoon, 100 miles to the NW of Cape Finisterre, whilst still heading SE.

"I shall probably tack in a couple of hours and then see where that gets me. I am hoping the breeze will hold up. I am making 9.5 - 9.7 knots but I don't want to push too hard in these seas because I don't want to bring the rig down."

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