As we enter in to the final stages of Leg 2, it is tighter than a pair of Linford Christies lycra joggers! What is emerging is a close three horse race between ourselves, Invest Africa and Henri Lloyd for the title. Simon is rushing around, constantly checking the wind, his facts, figures and generally getting little to no sleep as we try to eke out every last bit of boat speed possible!
To think, that after 12 days at sea and nearly 3,000 miles travelled there is 20 miles that separate the front three boats! One mistake, one poor sail change or lapse in concentration could cost you and your whole team the lead! This is pressure and as we are now at the business end of the race, we as a team really need to come together and step up to the challenge...so far so good.
However, whilst the race has been carrying on at apace, there has been some serious scandal happen on board the GREAT Britain boat!
No it is not the worrying news that Jacob Carter hasn't washed since we left Rio! No it is not that Mark Owen has revealed a delicate, more feminine side that has seen him rise as King of the Mothers. Nor is it even the shocking revelation that Paul 'the Squirrel' Hardy wanted to be a pop-star when he was younger, so badly that he even created a fake alias, Christian Shepherd, to go by! Apparently he has mastered a signature for said Christian and any adoring fans still out there can get a copy of the single that he wrote, 'This Time', at your local HMV store for him to sign (Ccmes in betamax only sadly as he is a little old!)
Sadly ladies and gentlemen, this news is even more serious and despicable than the ones above! Unbelievably…there has been a theft aboard this boat! This is no ordinary theft, but one of cunning, deception and malice! A crime so disgraceful that some within the ranks are still reeling from its repercussion! Ladies and gentlemen I am talking about the scandal that has now become known as...PILLOWGATE!
One cold, blustery and weary evening on the Southern Ocean, a beautiful goose-down pillow, whose comforts bring nothing but sweet dreams and happy memories to its owner, was shamefully removed from its resting place on bunk 14. Lost, stranded, helpless and defenceless the said owner of this pillow had to embark on a journey that was fraught with discomfort, bad dreams and deprived sleep! For hours the owner searched in vein, desperately trying to seek out his stolen steed. As word spread of the crime, people began to talk. Whispers of what had happened spread like wildfire throughout the GREAT Britain village. 'How could anyone do such a thing' people asked. 'What about our own safety' other started to wonder!
Chief Constable Cheddar, the on-board enforcer, was informed of the crime and a thorough search party was sent out to capture the perpetrator and return the crown jewel to its owner. What resulted was both shameful, dis-heartening and confusing.
After an extensive search and rigorous questioning the pillow was finally discovered at 1647 UTC on 22 October 2013. The scene of the crime was unpleasant to say the least. It was found buried at the bottom of Mistress Seam, aka Nikki Bank's boudoir, namely her sleeping bag! Sullied and smelling of a rich combination of sail glue and lip gloss, the pillow was gently removed and is currently being nursed back to full recovery in the comforting arms of its rightful owner.
However, unsatisfied by his findings Chief Cheddar has continued to press on to find out more about the crime. Reluctant to cease his search until the criminal is caught and justice is served!
It has been a long and painstaking process but, after some thorough detective work, he has managed to narrow it down to the following three suspects. We would like your help, GREAT Britain followers, in deciding who the likely perpetrator is and what sentence should be served:
1 - Mistress Seam (Nikki Banks) - The stolen object was found on her premises and buried deep within the darkest parts of her 'home'. She lives within close proximity to the owner and is known to look lustfully out of her bunk 'window' at him and his belongings. A crime of this kind fits with such obsessive behaviour. Couple to that the fact that she is a sail maker and therefore more prone to 'sticky fingers' and you have a very likely candidate.
2 - Paul 'the squirrel' Hardy - Known as the Faegan of the high seas, there isn't a crime too great for this hardened criminal. His deception and cunning have seen him smuggle some of the biggest bullion in to his dwelling and a prize as great as this is well within his capabilities. He is a known admirer of the pillow, having once owned one similar himself, and is thought to long for a hasty return to those dreamy days of old. His positioning is questionable, being just over the 'road' from the crime scene, results in the potential for onlookers to catch him in the act being far greater and with no real witnesses it is hard to frame the unframable.
3 -Neil 'Neo' Bennett - Regarded as the 'chosen one' within the group. The ring leader of this crime syndicate and the power behind any decision, deception or crime on the boat. He rules from the top and capturing the man in the act is no mean feat. Feared throughout the realm, getting witnesses to talk to will be a hard sell. However, his love and penchant for a cheeky 'power hour', even when working, make him a prime suspect here. Always a man for a slumber, the pillows mystique and ability to conjure up some of the wildest of dreams, would be sweet chocolate to this sugar driven oligarch. His house on 'millionaire's row' means that geographically he was not near the scene of the crime, but this is no fool.
Any crimes committed may not have been by his own hands, but the decision could have been made from the comforts of 'cove corner' and he cannot be discounted in our search!