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Hawaii 5-0

July 14th, 2006

Well actually 5-0-0. As in 5:00am.

Will Voodoo Child cross the line by 5:00 HST tomorrow morning?

The Tacoma based Santa Cruz 52 has sailed a very good race and is almost certain to be the first boat to finish. As of 12:00 PST they were 214nm form the Fantasy Island (yes also shot in Hawaii.) It looks like they will finish around 5:00 HST Saturday if they can keep up the 10 knot average they had for the last 24 hours. It seems likely they will be sipping Mai Tai’s tomorrow afternoon - and maybe a Magnum of wine? (There, we have worked the name of three tv shows shot in Hawaii into this story.) The Dana Point California based SC 50, Horizon, will be second to finish late Saturday night, or early Sunday morning.

Again, today we had a number of position changes in Divison 2. Turicum continues to lead, Tripp Tease fell from 2nd to fourth, while Night Runner moved up to second and Kahuna up to third. Positions 5 through 7 were unchanged today. Turicum and Night Runner have stuck together like Jake and the Fat Man, sailing to the north of the fleet and continue to find favorable conditions. Kinetic, who has spit the difference between the balance of the fleet to the south and the leaders to the north had the fleets best 24 hour run of 207nm.

We might be poised to have a lead change (on the water, thought likely not on corrected time) in Division 3 over the next 24 hours. Today we received a report from Blue Moves II suggesting the winds were like the plot of a Baywatch episode; nonexistant. Now like Dog the Bounty Hunter the crew of Blue Moves II will have to hunt down Wind on the the Water (remember Bo Derek?) wherever it is hiding if they hope to remain at the head of Div 3:

It looks like our goose is cooked.

A large area of high pressure with winds under 5knots from any direction appears to have settled over us and may be here for another day. We missed the window of opportunity to slip through yesterday, by under 20 miles due to the rapily declining wind. We did manage to keep moving through the night as squalls passed over, but behind each squall is typically a vacuum.

This morning is overcast with a fine drizzle. We are flying a spinnaker, barely, in glassy seas with a slow heaving swell that shakes most of the wind out of the sails as it passes. We are still managing to inch our way ahead at about 3.7knots in roughly the right direction. Patience and focus is what we need to have to get as much speed out of each puff that passes.

There may be a possibility of working our way slightly east of the rhumb line during the day with the predicted headwinds which on July 15th, would appear to get us into some easterly winds that eventually get us down to the Trade Winds.

John’s watch is on deck with Marque and Duane’s team all tucked up in their berths. Hark.....I hear the sound of our wake rippling against the hull......we are moving a little faster......shhhhhh...there’s not a sound from the on-deck crew, except for young Skywalker Fraser foraging for food in a bag of damp chips left on deck last night, looking for a crisp one!! The focus is quite intense.

Got to go and review this weather forecast I just downloaded. This is definitely Naviguessing as opposed to Navigating.

Keep in mind Blue Moves II has flirted with the potentially disastrous high pressure zone before and still maintains the lead in Div 3. That said the other boats in the division have eaten into her once sizeable lead. We will see how the next 24 hours plays out.

Other onboard reports:

From Brad Baker aboard Voodoo Child yesterday.

I only have a few minutes so I will make this the short highlights. The breeze is in the mid teens and the sun is out. It is a great afternoon. There are schools of flying fish everywhere, and it is fun to watch them take off and fly around   €“ sometimes in groups of 30 or 40. To clear up any rumors, I actually saved two flying fish from certain death last night, the first being the one that hit Brad and the second one that landed on the cabintop near the cockpit during a gnarly puff (I think Brian thought I was going to get washed overboard but I was clipped in so its all good). We got word this morning during roll call that Cassie lost the top   ¼ of their mast last night in an accidental jibe. The runners were on, so that saved some of the mast but they now have no halyards so it is tough to get things cleared up top and to jury rig a sail. We are all glad they are ok and that no one was hurt although it is a real bummer to have other boats drop out. I have a little bit more time now since I have assumed some of the roles of Jr. Navigator, aka watching to make sure the GRIB files get downloaded over the sat-phone. Sam and I just found a stash of chocolate pudding in the freezer and it was awesome. We were both just sprawled out down below on the spinnaker bags enjoying the luscious chocolateness.

A brief note from Kahuna:

0530HST...we have been cranking along all night at 8+ knots and the last couple of hours in the nines with 20kts wind. Now sailing straight down the rhumb line for a while so distance to Maui numbers will look good...another intersting roll call awaits at 1000hst.

From Kinetic:

Day 12, July 14 1130 HST, true wind speed 15-20+, boat speed 9-12+, clouds and squalls, sun trying to burn through.

Kinetic is sailing hard to regain ground lost when we slipped from first place, early in the race, to last place, two days ago. At today’s fleet roll call, Kinetic reported the best 24 hour distance run among all the Div 2 and Div 3 boats, leaving only the two remaining Div 1 boats to clock better distances. Check our transponder data to get a nearly real-time idea of our boat speeds. Peter has the best speed so far at 14.2 knots, with David a notch behind at 14.1. High speeds don’t get counted if they are not “on course”.

Latest night was the darkest night so far, making steering and trimming extremely challenging. We employed some secret techniques to keep going fast while being safe/conservative at the same time.

We are peeling spinnakers with each significant change in wind speed and have done quite a few sail evolutions.

We had a great half way party yesterday, details to follow when we’ve got a little more time for a report. We now have less than 1,000 miles of ocean to go. Touch wood, we may arrive in Lahaina around Wednesday evening, July 19. Or not.

We are seeing entire “glides” of flying fish and also discovered a squid stranded on the deck during the night.

It is hot and very humid below decks, and wet and wild above decks. Kinetic’s crew is experiencing equal measures of youthful exuberance, sheer exhilaration and persistent fatigue, medicated by Vitamin I (Ibuprofen).

Be sure to look at the photo galleries at the bottom of the vicmaui.org home page (just below the Day One Summary and Position Update). We have recently added some great aerial shots of most boats, taken on the beat out to the Pacific by David Woodcock of Greywolf Photography.

For those counting the Hawaii Movie Office has a list of 18 tv shows shot in the islands of which we have mentioned but six. The complete list is available here: http://www.hawaiifilmoffice.com/pdf/legacy-20060216.pdf

Next position/finish report July 15,2100 PST.

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