Leg 4 – Race 5 - 7th January

After the excitement of the previous night, getting up on deck to find that there was still a deck and sails up was reassuring!  However the winds had dropped and so had our speed and I after half an hour of watching our chances of gaining ground on the other boats disappeared, we finally woke up the skipper hoping he'd make a decision to change down to the light-weight kite to get us going.  As is often the case when you feel forced to wake Piers when you know he needs more sleep, the second he was up on deck the wind picked up and we were off and running again. Luckily he seems to view 2 hours of sleep as “plenty”!  The winds continued all morning to be variable, so we did get the lightweight up on deck to have the wind pick up again. I decide this is tactics we need to use in the future – everytime a sail is mis-behaving we get the next sail up on deck and threaten the one flying with a take-down! It might not be something straight out of the Sailing Almanac but it worked this morning, so I think it's something we should seriously consider!
With the wind dropping, the heat on board is becoming unbearable. Night-time sailing is great – shorts and t-shirts – no need for jackets – day-time sailing is all about dealing with the sun. The deck is too hot to walk on with bare feet; bikinis and shorts are the order of the day and really the only thing you want to have on is sunscreen!
The threat of the Lightweight spinnaker works and we keep just enough wind to hold on to the medium weight spinny all day and as the wind builds towards evening change down to the heavy-weight.  The nights have been cloudy and very, very dark, which makes trying to helm with the spinnaker very difficult. The last thing we need now is a bad spinnaker wrap.  It's a tough call as we are still in 6th position and really need to be trying to work our way up the fleet. The scoring gate is now looking unlikely for us and we need to focus on a good race position.  The heat is on – in every way possible!