Auto-pilots working with more power

Sir Robin Knox Johnston has restarted the Velux 5 Oceans race 3 days behind the other competitors. Having worked round the clock to resolve major issues last Saturday night, SAGA INSURANCE joined the fleet on the start line with Sir Robin vying for1st place across the line. Within hours of the start SAGA INSURANCE was
forced to return to Fremantle suffering from wiring problems. After
sitting out the obligatory 48 hour penalty and resolving the wiring
problems, Sir Robin restarted this morning, 12 miles from Fremantle, off
the coast of Rotnest island.

“Monday has been a good day. Simon Clay and I worked on the boat all morning and went for a test sail in 25 knots of wind, the famous Fremantle Doctor, in the afternoon. The auto pilots worked all the way and the most significant point was that with larger connecting wires from the batteries the voltage drop has
been reduced from 1.7 volts to 0.2 of a volt. We are pretty certain
we have cured the problem that has bedevilled the pilots right from the
start and I shall be setting out with renewed confidence because the
pilots will, at last, have the power they need. Whilst alongside
Duane Hand came down from Maxsea and re programmed their weather
programmes so hopefully I won’t be sailing blind this next leg.
There is some unpleasant weather ahead. A large depression is coming
through the Southern Ocean and I will probably catch it once I pass Cape
Leeuwin. Apart from that it will be a beat down to the Cape,
uncomfortable but SAGA INSURANCE can cope with it. Then the next point
to clear is Tasmania. After that it is more or less slightly south of
east for Cape Horn, keeping north of the mandatory waypoints designed to
keep us clear of the ice. In theory it is possible to get to Cape
Horn in three weeks at an average speed of 13 knots. This is well
within SAGA INSURANCE’s capabilities if the wind co-operates, but in
practice it will probably take a bit longer.”

“I won’t be bashing at this stage, there is no point in getting any
damage now, I can wait until the wind frees us and SAGA INSURANCE can
stretch her legs. We have lost 65 hours, but in a leg of 14,500 miles
there is plenty of time to catch the others. Bernard Stamm is off and
away, Koji is in hot pursuit, Unai seems to be taking things easily and
he is my first objective. I am not worried about starting this far
behind the others. There is a safety issue of course, where we are
going there will be no other source of support except from another
contestant, but 38 years ago no one even knew where I was for four and a half
months so with modern communications we can all be in touch.”