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Race 4, Day 7

GREAT Britain - Ollie Phillips

11 NOV 2013 - Race 4

So after a chaotic and hectic first few days of Race 4, life has returned to some sort of normality on the GREAT Britain boat. The new joiners have had their 'fresher’s initiation’, a casual 70 knot storm, and now they are fully inducted in to the GB family!

On our watch ('Hutch' Watch) we have four new members! Clearly we have been feeling charitable as we have welcomed two Scots into the family!! ;)

Neil Marchant, the man with lungs the size of two hot air balloons, capable of playing the bagpipes for 17 days straight without breath has become the new member of the elitist 'helming crew'!

Alex Liddle also joins and takes up the mantle of being our resident Doctor on board. His introduction of acupuncture to the masses has caused quite a storm and the random re-making of the film Hellraiser is now common place in the galley! :)

Trevor Middleton is the third addition to the watch. The man who has burning flames running through his veins! His ability to never feel the cold is truly quite remarkable and he is the ever present tough northerner on our watch!

The final member is Mike Rendall. Mike brings the suave, debonair edge to the watch. This smooth city slicker is a calming presence and his ability to always be in the 'splash zone' whilst on deck always brings a smile to one’s face!

Admittedly there were tough boots to fill with the loss of ‘Iron’ Mike’ Inglis and Mark 'Don't take no cheese' Cheddar (Owens). Two outstanding men who are sorely missed on our watch and can never truly be replaced, a fact so recognised by the Clipper Race that they gave us double the amount of people!! ;) Ironmike, Cheds, we miss you guys!

In other news, the rest of the crew continue to grow some very strange face furniture in aid of 'Movember'. The winner so far has to be Jake 'the snake’ Carter’s ginger handle bars! They would go down well in any YMCA re-make for sure!! ;) Today also marks the birthday of Lindsay 'the siren' Evans. Like every beautiful maiden of the sea, no-one really knows their true age, but Lindsay is rumoured to be 173 today!! Whatever age she is, she still looks amazing and as always, won the crew over, not only with her charming smile, but her offering of Ferrero Roche and Chocolate Digestive biscuits!! Happy Birthday Linds :)

The Southern Ocean continues to throw up several challenges for the crew. It is an ocean that is not used to having visitors and so therefore is not the most hospitable of hosts! When she is angry, she is angry and when she isn't interested, she takes away all the toys for you play with, namely wind! We have been moving along steadily now for the last few days and an average speed of 13.5 knots demonstrates how much fun you can have on this deep blue pond if you get the conditions right.

There is, however, a nervous energy building amongst the crew. The revelation from our skipper, Simon Talbot, that 'Storm 2' is coming and, unlike most poor sequels, this one packs just as much venom and action as the first one. With winds expected to vary from 50-70 knots, the crew on board are waiting nervously as to what will greet them come daybreak tomorrow!

I liken it to the film ‘Gladiator’, where Russell Crowe waits behind the wooden doors, before his first sojourn out into the Gladiatorial playground! Surrounded by foreign warriors whose fighting steel and mental toughness he has never borne witness too before. There is an air of uncertainty as to what danger will greet him once those flimsy bits of timber fly open and the golden sunlight blinds his eyes. He believes in himself and recognises the need for the Gladiators to unite and fight 'as one'!

GREAT Britain face these exact challenges in less than 24 hours tomorrow! Unite and fight 'as one' once again and we shall prevail. Lose our heads or go it alone and only anguish and pain shall be the resulting spoils!


Until tomorrow dear readers!! ;)