Position at: 20 Jul 2018 17:00 PDT 25° 14.32 N, 150° 34.95 W, 455.1 NM to finish
Distance (last 24hrs): 142 NM
It's been a while since I sent a blog update. Eliana is loving the "shy kite." In winds of about 15kts apparent, with a following swell, she will "catch the wave" and sail much of the time at 8kts plus, with 9kts for 5 to 10 seconds at times, and once in a while we see 10. When this happens, Eliana, doesn't feel like a heavy Morgan at all. It is only for short period that everything lines up and we can sail like that, but when it does, it's quite a rush.
We also got hit by a couple squalls with much higher winds with the kite up. Much less fun. It was work to keep Eliana standing up, and we end up sailing whatever direction the squall wants us to, but Eliana kept us safe. At times it took full rudder to control her course and we would still round up, but we never broached.
We made our first jibe 2 nights ago. It happened after a lift turned us to about 40 degrees away from Kaneohe. There was discussion (argument?) about whether wind would shift back or if this was the new wind direction. It was just before sundown, so whatever we chose we would be stuck with it. I made the call to drop the kite, and sail with the Genoa until morning, giving the driver the ability to jibe back and forth if necessary all night without the complexity of jibing the kite. We have been on the new jibe since then.
The race is still close. It looks like there is a good chance we will end 3rd in our division. There is a much smaller, but real chance we could end 2nd or 1st. It is a very close race, against 3 boats much faster then Eliana.
Editors note: Reportedly, Highlander has broken her boom, forcing them to sail by headsails only. Everyone is well aboard, but they are going more slowly than Eliana and dropping to 4th.