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Day 158

By Brian Hancock

OK this is going to be a tricky one. How do you explain that you were third across the finish line but still came in second? Let me explain without any jokes or innuendo. The maidens on Maiden came in second; even though they crossed the line in third place. Tricky business this sailing stuff isn’t it? It’s like eating a goat when you are actually eating the front left arm of a sheep, but I digress. Let’s just think of it as the passenger side arm if you live in the UK. Right arm passenger side if you live in the good old USofA. It’s still good to enjoy after a month or more at sea with that bland food. Chuck some hot sauce on it and enjoy; or just eat the vegetables if that’s what you prefer.

OK, it was a beautiful finish in Punte del Este for both boats. And I have to give a shout out to Don and Jane and Jac who show up for every finish even in the dead of night (wish that I could have been there). They are just getting the job done and they are doing awesome. Spirit of Helsinki came in good and strong. You would not expect anything less from Finns. I mean, seriously, what kind of people boil themselves harder than a hard boiled egg in a sauna, get whipped with birch leaves and then jump into ice cold water? Gotta be strong.

But here is the thing. They beat Maiden across the finish line. OK, that’s good. It wasn’t a photo finish but it was pretty close, but Maiden had been awarded some time because of diverting to investigate an abandoned life raft and the time awarded had them in around 16 minutes ahead of SOH. Crafty stuff, but if you know sailing at all, you know that you have look out for each other no matter what. Abandoned life rafts and all. (I wish I knew what happened to those that were in the life raft). I have a life raft story for you which I will come back to during the stopover. And the one about the lions.

But here is the biggest of all news. Boat #1 across the finish line was skippered by a woman (Marie Tabarly). Boat #2 was also skippered by a woman (Heather Thomas). I am old enough to remember the days when they would not let women run a marathon because they said that their uterus’s might fall out. How stupid (and I don’t like that word but I am using it now) How stupid have men been their whole lives? Women are awesome and better at pretty much everything and now this proves it that female skippers can kick some bloody ass and make it happen.

Triana are cooking with gas and have just over 100 miles to go. They are dealing with some northwesterly winds but are still leading in IRC and in the Adventure Class. I will come back to IRC at a later date but for now, let’s just say, they are doing great on all fronts.

Most of the rest of the fleet are dealing with water coming over the foredeck and it’s not so much a happy time. It’s always better when the water is coming from behind; and the wind too. but as my mate Don McIntyre says, “Life Hey.”

As my mate John Denver (RIP) wrote, “the wind is a whisper from our Mother Ocean.” As a sailor who has done over a quarter million offshore miles, I like that line and I say take what you can get when you get it. It’s a bit like sex. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Don’s Daily Tracker Update

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