Race 10 - Day 3
Crew Diary - Race 10 Day 3
04 April

Tom Neef
Tom Neef
Team Perseverance
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We are now a few days into Race10: The Ultimate Test of Perseverance – also known as The Mighty Pacific where we will be crossing form Qingdao in China, to Seattle in the United States. Known for its weather systems, big seas and cold conditions. One of the speeches during the departure ceremony described the current leg as an ultimate test of perseverance. Some big words for what is yet to come, we have got a name to live up to.

The stopover in Qingdao has been fantastic and could definitely have been longer. The programme was fully packed from arrival until departure, and yet it would have been great to do some exploring into the local food, heritage and culture. Or even a quick trip to Beijing.

Nevertheless, we are here for sailing. We started Race 10 with a Le Mans start. Perseverance was the lead boat this time, and therefore taking up the role as local race director. Conditions during Race Start morning were of no wind and barely any visibility. Our Skipper Ineke decided to postpone the race by two hours so that conditions were somewhat more favourable.

Besides the actual Race Start I didn’t spend much time on deck on race start day – as I was on Mother Watch. Which basically means being outside the watch rota to cater for the rest of the crew. Breakfast as usual, beef noodle soup for lunch and chicken stew for dinner. Visibility didn’t improve during the day, but yet the team did great into securing a good spot after race start.

During dinner we entered an area of the yellow sea which is home to the Chinese fishing fleet. It was nerve recking navigation between numerous fishing ships, still in restricted visibility. As we were cleaning up after dinner we heard some scraping sounds on the hull, followed by the boat coming to a sudden stop. We were caught in a fishing net, and probably the biggest catch for those fisherman in their lifetime. It took us numerous hours to cut the boat free, while being towed backwards by the fishing boat and its winches.

Those following at home must have seen us drop from 2nd to 11th position, with a 12nm gap to the last yacht. It was our first part of the ‘Ultimate Test of Perseverance.’ We made it through and have been chasing the other yachts over the past few days. And with success, as currently we are navigating the southern parts of Japan, with six Clipper 70s in sight! Today is also Easter Sunday. We got spoiled by an Eggcelent breakfast by Ben and Cam, a decoration challenge by Amanda, an eastern egg hunt organised by Nick and a little Easter bunny treat by Russell. And on this day the first wildlife was spotted, bio-luminous dolphins! Back to racing, andiamo!