Race 3 - Day 8
Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 8: Cape Town to Fremantle
08 November

Jennifer Hall
Jennifer Hall
Team Greenings
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***Blog from Jenny Hall, who has been reallocated to HotelPlanner.com for Leg 3***

I have to admit writing this, still brings a tear to my eye. But I finish my blog with a heart full of positivity.

A few days ago, I thought my dreams were shattered. I set out two years with the goal to sail around the world and that came crumbling down around me the night team Greenings had our accident. Leaving our boat on the reef as we were evacuated to safety in our life rafts will be a night I'll never forget.

The following few days for me was spent mourning the loss of our boat and our incredible team. CV24, or known to us as "Polly", had become the fabric for truly amazing life experiences. She had kept us safe, successful and full of laughter. The team was like no other I had been a part of – committed, proactive, supportive and fun. Team Greenings had a collective spirit that enabled all of us to take on the adventure of a lifetime. Credit for this must go to Dave Hartshorn – he built a winning campaign that we all signed up to and were delivering against. The tragic twist in this tale is that he never got to complete his dream with the team he developed.

Following the accident, many of us dealt with it in different ways. As described by Sir Robin on the evening, "Being shipwrecked makes you part of an elite, but unwanted club". But the quote of the evening that will stay with me forever was from the rescue swimmer on board our life raft who when asking us where we were going, and we explained it had been Australia, his response to us was "You should have turned right!" At that point we all laughed very hard in our life raft as we headed to safety. For me, I couldn't get my head or heart around what had happened. Constantly running through your mind is "What could we have done?", "What should we have done?". The internal 'guilt' for the want of a different expression was quite profound.

But those with more experience around me (big thank you to William, Dave and Lorraine, Mum and Dad) have encouraged me to draw a line and move on. The phrase "Sh*t happens" has been impressed upon me! Despite the setback, I've never wavered from my determination to sail around the world...it was now about adjusting the plan. And in a series of unfortunate events, I have been the lucky one that is still able to fulfil this.

Today, I find myself as part of the HotelPlanner.com team sailing across the Southern Ocean to Fremantle. The team had to unfortunately divert because of an injury on board, and that allowed for six members of team Greenings to join forces. So myself, JP (Janette Potgieter), Jez (Jeremy Hill), Jon (Freeman), Jemma (Cowley) and Paul (Stevens) have a renewed campaign led by Skipper Conall, and we couldn't be happier.

The HotelPlanner.com team have genuinely embraced us with open arms. Yes, they take every opportunity to have a mild joke at our expense (!) but we've taken it in good humour and it's helped us come to terms with what happened. They are a great bunch that also like to laugh, and we are already sharing ideas on how we can learn and improve from each other. This is turning out to be a truly positive experience for both sides and I'm delighted we had this opportunity to sail together. Some more friends for life.

As I said, the heart is once again full of positivity. I can't thank enough the South African sea rescue services (National Sea Rescue Institute) for what they did for us that night. We will forever be in their debt. I would also like thank the Clipper Race for its support over the past few days. Whether it’s been buying us toothbrushes, pants or flip flops the team has been there for us, and importantly getting us back sailing. Big shout out in particular to Sarah Hoare (Race Manager) and Tom Way (Deputy Race Director) who have been incredible throughout.

What happens post Fremantle is currently unknown for us, but this experience has taught me that whatever team we join, team Greenings will bring a spirit with them that will enhance any team. At the end of the day, all of us in the Clipper Race family have a shared dream and enthusiasm for adventure and ocean crossings. And I for one, am incredibly excited.

Lots of love to all my friends, family and fellow Greenings team mates. Your support has been fantastic.

And a big hello to all HotelPlanner.com followers.

Back smiling again,

Jenny xxx