As day three draws to a close, I thought it appropriate to summarise the last 72 hours of fun! The roller-coaster ride that is life upon GREAT Britain has certainly thrown up more surprises than a pack of chocolate revels. As always with revels, you get some cracking results and some not so good.
For me, this is my first time on board the new Clipper 70 yachts and my introduction was a swift one. Jumping on board at 10:30pm the night before race start was always going to be interesting. My nerves were high and anxious was an understatement.
As Monday morning arrived and all of the various bits of paperwork were filed, my first crew job arrived sooner than I anticipated! “Seaweed on the rudder”, was the cry from Simon, our skipper. “Anyone fancy going in to clear it?” As silence fell across the crew in response to his requests, I knew that this was my time to seek redemption after showing up late into the race. Up went the hand and then swiftly down I went, into the galley. I re-emerged sporting just my trunks, ready for my cold plunge pool wake up.
The cold was biting as I plunged into the glistening sea. The seaweed was cleared and we were soon ready to race. My nipples as I jumped back on board were offensively hard and I made my way down below to warm myself up. Life at sea, I thought, isn’t all that bad!!
Race start was interesting, but fun. We shot to the start, hurriedly trying to sort our sails out. As the gun went, we were under prepared and lost ground on the others. We then incurred a 720 degree penalty for touching the buoy as we tried to sneak inside OneDLL. Exhilarating would barely do it justice, but the end product was that we finished up in a disappointing 10th position.
However, some superb work from Simon and the crew saw as sprint though the pack like Sally Gunnell in the 400m. We just kept on running! Within 24 hours we were back in the lead and grinning like Cheshire cats, as the 'winners are trimmers' motto became fully vindicated!
The racing has been non-stop ever since, with us pushing this brilliant boat to its maximum. 26 knots is the fastest she has gone so far and we still think there is more left in her. Our challenge now is to hold this position all the way to Rio. Invest Africa, Qingdao and Henri Lloyd are nipping at our sterns though and will be pushing us all the way.
Concentration and precision in everything we do will be essential.
Will keep you posted.