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Race 3, Day 14

Invest Africa - Rich Gould

26 OCT 2013 - Race 3

Captain’s blog, sailing day 46.  There are only about 100 miles left between us and Cape Town as I write this and we are still pushing hard.

At this point in time, I find myself reflecting on Race 3 and comparing it to Race 2.  It’s our second major ocean crossing and our second race of a serious distance.  It looks like our early bold move of a very Southerly course has paid off to a certain extent, after spending the first week of the race at the back of the fleet we have made good progress up through the leaderboard, not quite as much progress as I would have liked, but good progress none the less.  It’s very easy to retrospectively look at the course and weather routing that I have chosen and find where I made mistakes.  Perhaps if we hadn’t have gone so far to the north before gybing over we would be hot on the heels of GREAT Britain, but alas we didn’t gybe sooner as I was expecting a little less wind as we closed in on Cape Town and therefore wanted a hotter apparent wind angle.

The team have not failed to impress on this leg, with the crew taking it upon themselves to coach and teach the new joiners.  Everybody has given it their all for the two weeks we have been at sea since leaving Rio.  Due to our more southerly route, it has meant that for us, most of this race has been off the breeze.  We have had some awesome downwind sailing, big wind, big swell, big surfs and big sails.  The kite handling ability has come on no end, with the crew now perfectly happy to hoist the heavy in some serious weather and then sheet in, hang on and enjoy the ride.  I was expecting the passage from Rio to Cape Town to take about 16 days, so to be arriving after only 14 shows how hard we have pushed, the whole team can be proud of their efforts for this race.

As it currently stands, we still have Henri Lloyd hot on our heels and must maintain our focus for the last few hours. This is going to be close, really close.

It’s amazing to think that that after two weeks and thousands of miles at sea, it could all end with mere seconds being the difference between boats.

Thank you all for your support from home, I hope this race has made for some exciting viewing.  We are all very much looking forward to arriving in Cape Town, many of the crew have got friends and family visiting, myself included. See you soon Leg 3 crew, and Mum and Dad - get the beers in!

For the last time on Leg 2.......Invest Africa OUT