Race 12 - Day 6
Crew Diary - My arch enemy- wind holes!
08 June

Julie Linsdell
Julie Linsdell
Team Zhuhai
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This race is certainly one of contrasts, we started so strong and initially were in first place -yes, first! Then we were part of the leading pack of three boats and sailing along very nicely, everything was going to plan and our strategy was working. We really were racing. My watch then went off for food, sleep and rest only to return on deck to find that our plan to take a more northerly route with the intention of avoiding a wind hole based on the weather forecast hadn't worked. The forecasts haven't been that reliable and hence we found ourselves well and truly in our first serious wind hole of this race. Our position was further away from the racing line than any of the other boats. This put us at the back of the fleet and so the claw back of position started.

Our initial racing saw us heeled over at an angle of close to 40 degrees with our Code 2 spinnaker filling out beside us and we felt as though we were flying. This was quite near to my comfort zone but as the hours went by I became used to it and really enjoyed the exhilaration. Life below deck at this angle is hard, you make your way around the boat by holding onto anything you can, once on deck you clip on multiple times and climb your way up to the rail on the high side often being pulled by fellow crew who are already there.

The pattern of the next few days continued with wind of varying degrees. We now find ourselves in a different race, with three other boats at the back of the fleet: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Imagine your Korea and Seattle. This race is on and again we are playing cat and mouse with them. Yesterday evening we could all see each other as we floated in yet another wind hole. Wondering what to do, Josh came on the radio and invited us all to a Pirate quiz. This distracted us for around 45 minutes. We have also considered playing Pooh Sticks along the side of the boat or hide and seek! This is how desperate you become.

The race continues with periods of high wind, low wind and none at all. At this rate our ETA into Bermuda will be sometime next month, just a little frustrating but that is life as an ocean racer, you take what you are given and make the most of it.

Looking forward to being back on land and catching up with family and friends, especially my daughter who completes her undergraduate studies next week and qualifies as a physio, well done my love. xx