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Day 167

By Brian Hancock

Translated 9 are still making good tracks toward Punta del Este. They covered 190 miles in the last 24 hours. Their speed has dropped a little because of some swirly (technical term) weather where they are and between where they are going. They are pointing their bows directly toward Punta and have to deal with what they get. As my late Mum used to say, “you get what you get and you got what you got.” Of course she was referring to time at the dinner table and not the weather.

There is a bustle of activity in Punta. The boats need to be practically pulled apart and then put back together. Every inch needs to be scrubbed and serviced. Take the winches for example. These older boats have a LOT of winches mostly because they have a lot of sails that they can chuck up at one time; weather dependent of course so there is a lot of servicing to be done. Each sail needs to be checked one at a time looking for loose threads or maybe some chafe. Sails get more chafe than a marathon runner and believe me, I know, I have done quite a few marathons, but I digress.

It’s pretty easy to break down a winch. There are more than a few moving parts. What we would do is fill a bucket with gas (petrol) and chuck all the parts into the bucket. They would be covered in grease and the gas would cut right through it and clean the parts. Now to the tricky part; reassembling the winch without leaving any part out. There is a special grease for winches and you have to lather up the bits and pieces (a winch engineer would probably not like what I just wrote) but the problem is that the gas and grease would blend into a murky mess and sometimes we would leave a small part on the bottom of the bucket. That would mean pulling the winch apart and starting again.

Stopovers are so exciting for the crews because after sailing three quarters of the way around the world there is a shared experience. In Southampton before the start most of the teams were strangers; no more, plus there is good drink and good food to make things that much more fun.

Happy Sunday to all the OGR teams and sail safe Translated 9.

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