Again, it's been an exciting 48 hours in the RFTC. As we rapidly approach the turning mark at Palau We (that island off the northern coast of Indonesia -- just take Rt. 25 North until it stops, for you Indonesian locals...) and prepare to turn down the Malacca Straits, the picture is getting a little clearer.
For about 24 hours, the pack was pretty tight, with five of the seven enterants all withing spitting distance of each other. But things quickly spread out and tactical advantages were won and lost.
Ian and Warren are still fighting it out for the facial hair podium, although the official standings don't really bear that out. In fact, the news by the standings is pretty bad for me -- I'm only one place away from the mutton chops. I'm comforted though by the lack of logic in the standings, as they're simply calculated by Distance to the Finish. Because of this, I think I'm okay... I think.
The great equalizer will be the weekend; who will stay on top of things? Who will navigate the tricky straits the best? It's entirely possible that race leader and Scoop Editor James McKenna could find himself in a hole while the rest of the groups sails around him -- no place, or face, is safe right now. It should be noted though that out of over 108,000 enteries, James is currently in 415th place.
Of the seven entries, mine is the only that probably doesn't have to tack again to make it around Palau We. James, Aaron and Jarrett are all fairly close, but will have to throw a hitch in to clear the point -- calling the layline properly will be crucial. Mike seems to be in a solid position, poised to make a run, but in a great place to cover the two laggers.
Yes, it's Ian and Warren that are really in trouble -- Ian's bold move to the south never paid dividends, nor did Warren's. Now they both need to find a way to claw back to the north and hope for some help in the straits.
Stay tuned! It's going to be exciting... or miserable, depending on who finishes where!
Standings via Distance to Finish
1st Place: Stern Scoop Editor, James (DTF: 792nm)
2nd Place: Jarrett from Rigging (DTF: 821nm)
3rd Place: Aaron from Customer Service (DTF: 833nm)
4th Place: Warren from Customer Service (DTF: 866nm)
5th Place: Mike from Fulfillment (DTF: 871nm)
6th Place: Stern Scoop Editor, Chris (DTF: 872nm)
7th Place: Ian from the Storefront (DTF: 896nm)
Lollygagging Update: Stern Scoop Editor Rob has jumped in at the tail end of the fleet. He's actually just getting a hang of it for the next leg to China, but we're seeing if he can beat either Ian or Warren.
Also, if you have interesting ideas for the stakes of the next leg that Rob will be part of, please let us know!