Race One Finish Day.
It’s the final countdown, the excitement in the Big Blue Boat is electric, the potential for a podium finish increasingly a reality.
My day started at 0230 with a call to get up and help pack a Spinnaker. To the uninitiated in this particular art form, the Spinnaker sail, is the size of a tennis court when flying, is dropped into the galley and then spread down the length of the yacht from the sail locker in the bow down to the nav station and into the stern. What follows is an opportunity for the team of packers to practice their leadership and communication skills, the reality is that often we all tell each other what to do until someone is appointed the leader and we get the monster tamed, wrapped and secured back into her bag in the sail locker. We are trying to be quiet so that those sleeping in bunks close by are not disturbed, we have all developed a capacity to sleep through almost anything except our wake up call.
I was soon up on deck with a beautiful night to sail and an opportunity to helm by the stars.
Right now, everyone is on deck working together to trim the sails and ensure weight distribution, everyone except the guys on Mother watch and myself. Joe and Antonie are cooking up a storm of Sweet Potato Soup and I am their self appointed taster! As victualler, I do spend a fair bit of time below deck answering cooking questions and finding that essential ingredient that is in the recipe but not in the “day bag” of food ingredients. I still can’t find the Lea and Perrins’ sauce that I know I purchased.
The tension is mounting, the heat is on, music is playing quietly in the background, no one wants their focus disturbed, except for Sweet Potato Soup! We know we have worked hard all race and now it is a head to head challenge with the mighty Qingdao with other podium hungry hunters chasing us. Suddenly from the deck, there are chants of UNI-CEF! UNI-CEF! and I pop my head up to see we have supportive visitors motoring alongside complete with cameras. It doesn't take much for this team to make noise, shout and chant, and the support is appreciated.
We are hungry to win and all the pain and discomfort of the last few days are forgotten as we throw everything into the final dash of this race