So far the Atlantic is delivering on the promise of a great race. The sun and stars have been out pretty much non stop. Almost since the start we have been barrelling along at incredible speeds, driven by strong winds from a very favourable direction and patches of amazing current of the Gulf Stream behind us. We have been at the front of the fleet and that is always exhilarating. And just as important as the sailing, the food in the galley has been excellent (yeah for fresh vegetables!) and the new leggers fit in really well. So in all we are a small but happy team on board WTC Logistics, and morale levels are high.

But in an intense ecosystem like a boat, not much is needed to disrupt a good balance. And so it was disrupted quite spectacularly yesterday - right before we were crossing the longitude line of Punta del Este, meaning that our Round the Worlders Kaz, Paul, Rachel, Ben, Susie and Dan crossed every line of longitude on their adventure, which deserves a huge congratulations - our Code 3 went BOOM! Nothing particular was happening at the time, but after 30000+nm, UV damage and just general wear from being sailed in pretty tough conditions the sail just needed to break, apparently. And break it did! Along leech, luff and head.

After the initial adrenaline rush of an all hands on deck wrestling match to get it down, the direct aftermath was one of many questions and high running emotions. Skipper and AQP were wondering if we should have brought it down earlier, what a lack of Code 3 would do to our racing and what would be required to get it fixed. The helm, although clearly not their fault, had to carry the burden of being the one who was driving when it went BOOM, the on-watch was still a bit high on adrenaline and the off-watch a bit shell shocked from being woken from deep sleep to come to a deck full of chaos. But not in the least, our amazing sail making team had to come to grips with the knowledge that hours and hours of work would be required, either in a damp and bad smelling sail locker or on shore where it would mean less free time, in order for it to be repaired, without guarantees it would ever be as good again.

So for a little while, but just a little while, things were less than great on board Black Betty. However, as the day progressed Susie and David (our fantastic Sailmakers) developed a plan with valuable input from Martin from Hyde Sails (thanks Martin!), the sail locker was pimped up with fans, music and snacks, the boat started picking up speed again under our Yankee 1 and the watches settled into the new rhythm of sailing under white sails. Some silver lining there is that this requires less people on deck, freeing up people to help the Sailmakers. But it also means our leggers can try their hand at some serious helming in high winds and down waves without the stress of a kite up. Mel especially is turning into a little speed devil at the helm. Watch Leader Rachel finally found the time to do her sextant sights for her Yachtmaster Ocean qualification and Watch Leader Kaz is upping her game at weather routing.

So slowly Black Betty got back in the groove and today, although a little slower than we would like, we managed to hold our own at the front of the fleet and down below was a happy busy place, with the sewing machine working over time.

John (our On Board Reporter for this leg) is editing some amazing footage and Lucio is teaching pasta making to Paul (Dawn, something to look forward to!) There are still many hours of work to go, but fingers crossed the Code 3 will fly again in this race. With all the skills development going on, I think Dan and I should get some deck chairs in Derry~Londonderry and just chill at the back of the boat next race, while the crew run the whole thing. Seems like a fine plan to me.

Ineke, Dan and the Crew of WTC Logistics "OUT"