I knew that this race would be a journey but I’m not sure I totally prepared myself for how much of one. After the manic preparations in Rio to ensure we were ready to set out with the rest of the fleet, it took a few days to slip back into the watch pattern again. This being one of the shorter legs, there has been lots of discussions about tactics. This has highlighted how different peoples’ expectations are of what they want to gain from the race – myself included. There are some who are purely out to try and win the race, others, like myself, who want to become better sailors and a myriad of other reasons for people to be part of this unique experience. One thing is for sure, we will all learn how to work as a team to make this boat go faster. Although I will have sailed 39,000 miles and hopefully picked up some new skills on how to keep the boat moving / in good shape, my primary objective of being able to start deliveries of yachts is probably a step further than the experience of the race will take me. Plan B is currently being hatched for when I return.
Race start was a run down towards Copacabana beach, with 12 boats bearing down towards an inshore mark that seemed only metres from the beach. We were all a little unprepared for the sea state after leaving the bay, days later still trying to dry kit out. This Leg has been different from the previous in so many ways…..The food has been significantly better as we reduced freeze dried to just one meal a day. Its amazing how much of a moral boost this has been for the crew with culinary creativity being shown in the form of bread and cake making. Although I miss my chats with George and Janet on the rail (who left in Rio), the injection of 4 new leggers has provided new energy and a refresher for all as we run through some evolutions (reducing sails, changing sails, putting poles up, etc). We are lucky to have these guys until we reach Australia so plenty of time to cement the team bonding that started in Rio. A change to the members of the watches as has also provided an injection of new ways of doing things. Thanks to Carter and Terry for their coaching on helm. We finally crossed the line in 9th.