May 12, 2016 Defend!

A total fun and challenging 4 hour midnight watch. Top finishing boat LMax is .5 mi off our Starboard beam and UNICEF is 2 miles back. Pulled away from UNICEF and held our own with LMax. Young Alex so calm and collected on helm. Constant double grinders (2 people gripping the turning handles in readiness). Going 10-13 knots boat speed. Forced onto a higher more easterly course by LMax who are trying to get by us into the dominant position. Tough sailing. 35 degree heel. Often the foot of the sail and occasionally the end of the boom dragging in the water. 120 degree wind angle with "FrankenSnozzer" (repaired Code 1). Sail repair holding up well to the extreme wind angle and side-ways pressure in up to 15 knots of breeze. It is intended to be used with a more downwind angle. How long will she hold? Are LMax trying to force us into making boat handling mistakes?  Boats are moving pretty evenly on course and speed. Seems we are in the lead as the inside boat. So it might come down to equipment failure or mistakes. Matt is spending more time on deck and some time on the helm to help keep us in the running.