Leg 8 from Itajai to Newport. Skipper Xabi Fernández on board MAPFRE.

Hi all,

Just finished day 2 (?) of this 8th leg… I don’t know how many times I have already written about how the history repeats leg after leg.

After a very nice start in Itajaí, much better than the last edition where we were parked for hours, we started an endless upwind where we are just searching for every drop of boat speed we can find. Checking the AIS, binoculars, hand bearing compass… That is how we expend the watches trying to find out how to be always faster.

I can already see it is going to be hard, with a lot of moments of high tension and decisions to be made and the truth is we are looking forward for a trike leg, hopefully turns good for us.

After this 48 hours we have already see some changes in the positions. We were more or less in order the first 24 hours but today we have passed a big cloud action where for the moment Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn The Tide On Plastic look like have done the best of it, so we have already started the persecution.

Our companions during the whole race (Dongfeng) are just 3.3 nm to windward of us and Brunel is 3.3nm to leeward so we keep fighting every boat length all night long.

Otherwise, very nice sailing conditions to be honest. Dry, light, warm but not hot, clear skies right now… We can’t complain.

We will keep you updated the next days.

Best regards,

Xabi