A quiet Saturday before the storm. Alberto Bona, aboard the Class40 IBSA, wakes us up this morning at 9 from the top of a fifth place, first Italian in the Class40 upon today’s check. After spending the first three days close-hauling, with a fairly strong wind and a formed wave, here is a break. Since dawn, the wind has dropped below ten knots, and will likely keep dropping for a few more hours.
In order to maintain an acceptable average of speed, between 7 and 8 this morning the whole leading group – ten boats spread over 16 miles – turned to the North-West, in order to have an angle with the wind such as to ensure progress, even if not directly, towards the finish.
Sailing is a matter of geometry: the goal is to run as fast as possible and in the best direction towards the finish, but if you can’t do both, you have to choose the most fruitful one, mediating between the immediate and the long-term advantage. Thus, the group currently leading the Class40, including Bona, had to choose to go up a few degrees towards the North-West to maintain sufficient speed in the calm and, in fact, also while approaching the next disturbance. It might seem like bad news, but it’s not, because here the goal is to run, and to do it one needs wind! In front of the Class40 IBSA, after the calm, winds of around 30 knots will return, for some more upwind sailing: another centrifuge that could animate this Saturday of navigation.