Wind returned as last night overcame yesterday. Wind has remained since. Pride is now around the Keweenaw Peninsula and on the straight away to the finish line some 85 nautical miles away to the southeast as I write.
As Pride rounded the Keweenaw Peninsula connectivity to the internet was established for a short while and we were able to “see” where Niagra and Denis Sullivan were via an AIS vessel tracking web site. Niagra was some 32 miles behind us and making nearly the same speed as Pride. Denis Sullivan was all the way back near the Apostle Islands. The rest of the fleet remained invisible but we assume are between Niagra and Denis Sullivan.
The wind forecast for the rest of today suggests some slowing down could happen and also veer more toward the west from southwest it is flowing from now, making for a broader sailing angle than currently is the sailing angle. Slower wind speeds will make our race longer. Currently Pride is going 8.3 knots. Maybe, just maybe, a finish can occur before this day ends. The question remains if the rest of the fleet will be slowed down at the same time that Pride is. If the rest of the fleet does not experience a slow down at the same time Pride does it could be possible for another vessel to win the race by handicap even though the other vessel crossed the finish line after Pride did. It depends on how much time she must “give” to another vessel because it is smaller than Pride or less capable of going to windward. If it takes us 72 hours to finish the race, Niagra must finish less than 3 hours behind Pride. Lynx must finish less than 14 hours after Pride. Those two vessels have been the most consistent threats to Pride in this Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge Race Series. But the other races were short races. In a longer race it is possible another vessel could create an opportunity for their handicap to win the race for them. Sorlandet is a big (long) and graceful full-rigged (all masts have yards) sail training ship from the early 1900’s with strong sailing capabilities. Maybe she will cross the line soon enough behind PRIDE to steal away the win from Pride.
Jan C. Miles and the Lake Superior racing crew of Pride of Baltimore II