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November 21: An update from Dragon

2000 UTC

TWS - 11 to 14 knots TWD - 70 degrees true and clocking to the east Sea State - 1 meter swell Sky - partly cloudy with cumulus and some cirrus

I have been flying the big A2 kite for about 1000 miles now, all on the same starboard board. Probably should have been down in the A4 for some of the higher wind stuff we were seeing 2 days ago, but I did not want to concede any speed so I rolled the dice. Last night a few wipe outs finally convinced me to reef the main which settled Dragon down and kept her on her feet. Dawn saw winds come down into the mid-teens, so while it hard to contend with a left over sea state, its was easier to achieve good results.

Just before writing this, I had gotten far enough west and started seeing just enough of a forecast shift from NE breeze to what should become East or even ESE breeze to make the call on the gybe. Sadly (#not) there was no drama from which to weave a good yarn.

It's a bit difficult (#grossunderstatement) to call a layline from 750 miles out. At the moment, I am short but like I said...we should see more shift. Time will tell, but since each gybe in this configuration is like watching moss grow and just creates risk, I am hoping I got it right. Or close to right. The models are largely in agreement, and have been consistent over several runs at this point.

Those of us in this pack of boats that are about 700 to 800 miles out are all beginning to converge and grand strategic calls are finished. As we move forward, it becomes more tactical and all about boat speed. As I type this, Audi has just slid pass me however we are pretty evenly matched. It should be fun to watch. Maybe less so for the two of us...


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