Meanwhile, the crew of Movistar was left waiting at the dock after being assessed a 2 hour penalty for receiving outside assistance to repair their winch system in New York. Finally at 3pm, they were released to cross the starting line and begin to chase their competitors across the Atlantic Ocean.
As the fleet begins beating east tonight, they will be greeted by increasing easterlies and rising seas. These weather conditions are making the prospects of a record Atlantic crossing slim. As Ericsson skipper Neal McDonald said before the start, “We’ve been looking at the weather, and certainly we’ll be looking again, but the conditions aren’t favoring any sort of records at the moment.”
Record or not, all of the crews are motivated to get to England. For McDonald, it is a chance to return home and be greeted by his wife, fellow ocean racer Lisa. For Mike Sanderson, skipper of ABN Amro 1, maintaining his teams overall lead may be on the back of his mind as he plans to wed his fiancée during the Portsmouth stopover. For the rest of the teams, the days of long ocean passages will soon be behind them and they can begin to think ahead to their next adventures.