Yesterday I felt completely out of the race as 100% Natural Energy drifted around in circles, sails flapping uselessly. Thankfully, the race came to me as I three other race yachts left Newport after their technical pitstops and rejoined the race as I was drifting by. I traded tacks with JP throughout the night and then today JP, Yann and I have been sailing parallel all afternoon. As this is the first time I have lined up against another boat it's exciting to feel the pressure from being in contact with other yachts and I have been ripping through my sail changes to make sure I keep up.
Sadly my Code 0 (light wind reaching sail) is delaminating again after the repair in Newport so I have been massaging my big gennaker to sail upwind in the light conditions and was able to reel in JP after a few hours of attentive trimming. Yann caught both of us up on his highly optimised and famously light boat that excells in these conditions. As the wind built I switched from the gennaker to my big jib but I can't fight physics... the newer boats are faster and they are both equipped with new generation sails. Even as they slide away from me I can be happy that I kept a latest generation boat in my sights for a whole day. If I am able to secure sponsorship for the Vendee Globe and have material I can rely on I know that I can put up a worthy fight and take a few of the newer boats as prizes.
Otherwise, all is well on board. It's fun having Stan to talk to and his excitement about being offshore on such a big racing machine is contagious. He just saw his first flying fish and was over the moon! We are both eating and sleeping well even if Stan has still to find his sea legs.