SATURDAY MORNING – Yesterday we finally got a glimpse of the sun in the afternoon and then even a small slither of moon once dark.

Was weird looking at the stars last night through the missing mainsail panels but the mainsail is now something I am used to seeing.

On that subject it hasn’t seemed to get much worse but we are still in Reef 2(about the same sail area now as reef 4) and have been now for 5 days. Managing around 75% on the polars when there is wind and then about 55% in light patches. Being a competitive racer the tracker is keeping me going. We don’t download files all the time but 2-3 times a day and slowly watch the 60 fleet to our West pull away.

The wind should slowly start to clock round today and we may look to hoist the main once the TWA goes aft of 90 degrees. We need to keep as much apparent wind out of it if we are to make it to Brazil with any of it left. Looking forward to some trade wind sailing next even if we will be limited to using the fractional A5 due to lack of mainsail leech tension.

The only bad news to report is that Ari’s fresh desserts are all gone as is most of the fruit but I guess we are the only boat in the fleet to have afternoon coffee made through a portable hand filter.

As for the racing up front the Port LaF gang look to made the big break away from the rest in the West. We are having fun trying to work out their tracks with our polars…130% at the minute looks about right but will keep an eye on it! Still got my racing head on …..   So thats it from Ariel2 today and we both want to say thanks to family and friends for the support over the last few days. Catch up soon.. 

Mikey went to reconnect a couple of mainsail batter cars that had come loose.

THURSDAY MORNING – Mikey here,  Not the TJV I was hoping for. After a great start on Sunday we fell victim to the Mainsail starting to fall apart on night 1. reef went in off Guernsey and that put a small hole in the panel above reef 3. We made sure we would safely get out the channel under canvased which we did and entered Biscay. Once the wind went forward the mainsail started to fall to pieces in front of us. Theres no chance to fix a delaminated mainsail! 2 days upwind later we showed the world a picture of our mainsail.

To say we are gutted is an understatement but we are fighting! It would be very easy to just pull in and quit now but we will monitor the sail condition 24/7 and keep reef 2 in until we can go VMG downwind.

We will make a final decision just before we get to the Canaries as we dont want to take any unnecessary risks crossing an ocean ´wounded`. As I say its not the TJV I wanted but hey…. not many people get to race these beasts at all so I´m making the most of every minute I get that chance to do so!

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