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Crew member on USA25555 Rambler 100

Rambler 100 update
A beautiful night of full moonlight sailing here on the English Channel. We are sailing upwind in about 13 knots of wind in a good race with Leopard who got past us before sunset when we bore away to take our ripped (and furled) J2 off the headstay. The process required Scott Beavis to go up the mast to the top of the jib to cut away some lashing at the top of the furler. He prudently put on his helmet for that high wire act... we got the sail down fairly quickly but not before Leopard pounced on the opportunity to get past us while we were sailing downwind - 90 degrees off course. They are about a mile ahead of us right now and the sail repair team has just concluded their six hour operation on the patient and the sail is back on the foredeck getting ready for hoisting. That will be good - as right now we are quite underpowered sailing with the smaller - heavy air oriented J4 jib.Hopefully the repair will hold as it looks like we could use our J2 sail pretty much all the way to Fastnet Rock now only 208 miles ahead.
Just after sunset we passed Start Point (20 miles to the east of Plymouth - where we will finish) along with a few Open 60's.. they really move along pretty well - impressive boats. Looking at the race tracker we are closely watching the battle between the two big multihulls (Gitana and Banque Populaire) and the two Mod70 tris as they will give us an indication of the next big wind shift in this race - from Northwest to Southwest as they cross the axis of a High pressure ridge. Although they look like they are starting to feel the shift now, we probably won't get it til around 6am...
By then we'll be past Lands End on our way to Fastnet Rock... and the conditions will start to get windier.
Peter Isler

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