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2013 – The Expert’s Analysis After 2 Days of Racing

May 13, 2012

It finally is starting to look like there might be some fleet separation as there are now two distinct groupings.  The leaders #115-Mare, #101-Campagne de France and #118-Bodacious Dream have continued to extend their overall lead on the main field be staying on the easterly part of the course and have all gained on the rest of the pack.  It seems like they have not only benefited from more current in the Gulf Stream, but better pressure and angle relative to the inside boats.  #106-Gryphon Solo has done a tremendous job of catching up to the leaders and extending away from the main pack.  The guys on board seem to be getting quicker with each update and are pushing the leaders hard.   #20-Sevenstar Yacht Transport has split east as well and again are reaping the rewards. BUT, the biggest mover by far is #54-Dragon who have truly done a great job of remaining patient and have gone from a deep last to up into the top 3rd of the fleet.  They too have benefited from the combination of better breeze and current are are gaining miles each update.
This leads to the main pack, who all sadly have been suffering for the last 6-8 hours.  It seems like they all got convinced the southwesterly was going to fill quickly around Hatteras, but sadly this has not been the case and the boats that gybed towards shore have been slow much of the day.  The pack consists of the bulk of the fleet who all have been sailing close proximity to each other in lighter, more fickle winds.

The combination of light air and constant contact with competitors is probably starting to take a toll on the teams and waiting for the breeze to fill is going to be stressful.  It seems like the main pack inshore is starting to spread out a little from each other, but the leaders to the east appear to be in good position to gybe and cover the field.  It will be interesting to see if Sevenstar and Dragon can continue their forward progress and get across the main field and if Gryphon Solo can continue to pressure the leaders. Right now is too close to call and there still remains the uncertainty of the approach to New York Harbor.

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