At the start of Day 2 the crews were virtually neck and neck. After leading for the first 22 hours Team Jamison’s pace had faltered ever so slightly and Team ROWBOTS saw an opportunity and started a sustained push through the still night air which saw them enjoying a 7nm lead by dawn. The incredible pace the crews had achieved in the first day at sea had, no doubt, given the crews a sliver of hope that they could challenge for the race record. We normally hope that crews will be able to achieve 50nm per day (just over 2kt average speed). Team ROWBOTS tracker this morning was proudly displaying 75.6nm rowed towards the finish in the last 24 hours. An incredible feat. Team Jamison were showing slightly less than this monster distance, but remember that they have one oarsman less than their competitors.
As is so often the case, the sea being the cruel mistress she is, immediately and rather forcefully shut the door on the idea of race records. The winds were forecast to increase significantly from the east throughout today but none of the weather models had predicted the ferocity of wind which has been forcing both crews to battle harder than ever before just to avoid being blown backwards. The support yacht recorded winds of 20 to 25kts and higher in the gusts. It is astounding that both crews have not been blown more off course but they continue to dig deeper and deeper into their internal reserves and fight against the conditions. Team Jamison reported the occasional wave of more than 15ft breaking over the side of the boat and that they had been rowing on just one oar for hours.
The crews, support team onboard the accompanying yacht and friends and family will be pleased to hear that the weather forecast from all models calls for a decrease in the winds over the next couple of hours and by sunset the crews should be back enjoying significantly less wind and calming seas. Several of the weather models also call for a slight tail breeze through tomorrow which we’re sure would be very much welcomed by the crews.
It is incredible that after all this the difference between the crews is still so small. Team Jamison have hauled back in some of the lead Team ROWBOTS were basking in yesterday and are now only 5nm behind.
There’s still everything to play for in this one of the most competitive and closest NOMAN races ever!