Race 5 - Day 3
Crew Diary - Sydney to Hobart
29 December

Rich Perkin
Rich Perkin
Team Garmin
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Memories of sailing days like today are partly what gets us through memories of times like the first 30 hours of the race. With the wind coming from the north, pushing us south, it all of a sudden feels like we're getting somewhere and that this race is, as far as the Clipper Race is concerned, a quick one.

These boats really do move under the right conditions, move comfortably and move well. Even in the wrong conditions, however, this race has really shown what the Clipper 70 boats are capable of. The news from outside is that 32 boats have dropped out, including some of the Maxis, and we've had the toughest Sydney Hobart race in 11 years.

It almost makes it worth it, to be able to say that. To outlast boats that cost more than our entire fleet to make, that are crewed by professionals, and that only really exist to do this race, is saying something. And to come through it all and out the other side, still competitive in our own 12-boat race within a race, well, it's not over till we've crossed the line.

Sorry if you're fed up with blogs from me, but it seems everyone else on board is too involved in the sailing to jump on the keyboard. That, and only 3 days away from cell phone reception is much more bearable than 3 weeks.

We have about 200 miles to go to the finish as I write this, so maybe this will be the last Garmin crew diary of the year. It's been an epic trip so far, full of highs and lows, both in the weather that we're using to fuel our race, and the emotions and experiences we've gone through on board and in port. And having our support at home, always following along our little black arrow, reading these diaries, is one of the things that keeps us on board going, knowing that every mile we sail, every race completed, brings us that little bit closer to the end of this incredible adventure (except this race. We seem to be going south and London is north...).

So tune in next year where we... pretty much do the same as we've been doing since August, only a little faster and through different oceans and to different continents. But always that little black arrow will keep moving (except when we're becalmed) towards the ultimate finish line (except when we're headed south or east).

Let's Go Garmin!

--Rich Perkin