July 3, 2015, 5 p.m. EST:
We got into the Gulf Stream, so it’s been warm weather and lots of current. We are pretty sure we hit a 24-hour record onboard Dorade, but are still confirming. The biggest challenge now will be to make the transition through the “ice gate” to the “great circle route”. If it’s done wrong we could lose the race. If it’s done right we’re still competitive.
The ice gate is an exclusion zone because of icebergs, so we’re essentially heading due east and at the “ice gate” we’ll start to head north, for the “great circle route”, which is the shortest route to the UK.
Presently it’s very pleasant. We are on watch right now and in shorts and t-shirts. It’s very warm. When we head north we are going to have to start putting on cold-weather gear, because it will get very cold, and the water temperature will drop significantly.
How has the teamwork been onboard?
We’re a very strong team and everyone is in good spirits. We have three watches of two each, plus Shaun the navigator and we have great crew dynamics. Around 5 o’clock every night, we have cocktail hour where we eat wine, cheese, salami and olives and talk about what happened onboard that day and what we are planning for tomorrow. This is our briefing session.
What is your strategy currently and moving forward?
Our strategy is to do the best we can everyday. We want to try and match Olin and Rod Stephens’ record although we’re sailing additional miles. Due to the exclusion zone, we couldn’t do a traditional “great circle route” this year, which would have taken us north to begin with instead of east. But if we could match the Stephens brother’s record of just over 17 days, we’d be very pleased and I think that would send a message that other classic boats can do the same. It isn’t a crazy idea.