Race 14 - Day 3
Crew Diary - THE FINALE: Den Helder, Netherlands, to London, UK
30 July

Simon Rosbottom
Simon Rosbottom
Team GREAT Britain
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"That was a damn near run thing" as the Duke of Wellington remarked upon the Battle of Waterloo and so it was. Although GREAT Britain were pipped on the Southend finish line by Unicef by a mere 2 seconds, finishing tenth in this race was enough to maintain third overall, one point ahead of Garmin. Well done to LMAX Exchange and to Derry-Londonderry-Doire, for great sailing performances, you deserve the top slots. So, we're off up the Thames to London - see you there!

On behalf of the crew, I would like to pay tribute to Peter Thornton our skipper who has been a true professional and who has guided and mentored us around the world for the last eleven months. Thanks skip. "....eyes as level as a foot rule, with wrinkles at the corners - the product of humour and of twenty years staring at a thousand horizons" if you know your Nicholas Monserrat.

The previous fortnight has been marked a series of 'lasts' - some known, some not. I'd baked my last bread somewhere in the Atlantic but didn't know. In the middle of the North Sea, I wooled my last kite and did my last mother. The last victualling (shopping to you landlubbers), the last man overboard drill, the last deep clean are all behind us. Yesterday, we ate our last lunch and dinner on board and we celebrated our last on- board birthday - Sunil who was 60 - no more birthday cake. Just like the last episode of M*A*S*H, or the last Sopranos - can we believe it is over?

I think we will have to wait for it to sink in. So that as they say, is that and this is the last blog from GREAT Britain - Charlie Victor 27.

I've enjoyed writing our blog immensely and I've been thrilled that complete strangers approach me in port saying how much they've loved reading it.

To quote the end of Bladerunner, I haven’t quite seem 'attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion,' nor seen 'C-Beams glittering in the dark by the Tannhauser gate' whatever and wherever they may be they are someone else's memories. However, I have seen waves the size of buildings, whales breaching, huge albatrosses skimming below wave height, waves blown horizontal, glorious sunrises and sunsets too many to mention, the Milky Way blazing from horizon to horizon, bioluminescent dolphins streaking by and I've seen the triumph of human endeavour, spirit and adventure. All these things, I've seen with these eyes.

This is Wing Co., very proud, 'tache waxed, bailing out.

P.S. If you've enjoyed what you've read over the past year, follow further ramblings and adventures by googling and subscribing to 'chaparoundtheworld,' my free Wordpress blog.

P.P.S. I really am jumping this time....