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Day 194

By Brian Hancock

A little bit later today or early tomorrow (Sunday) another milestone will be made in this first edition of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. All things being equal Ms Marie Tabarly and her crew aboard Pen Duick VI will bump back into the Northern Hemisphere for the final stretch back to Cowes on the Isle of Wight on England’s south coast to close the loop on this grand adventure, for them at least. They have just over 3,000 miles to go. As soon as they cross into the Northern Hemisphere they will have to deal with the dreaded doldrums, or Pot au Noir, the black pot as the French like refer to that region that has one more than one occasion brought grown men to their knees, but more on that in tomorrow’s update.

I want to give a shout out to our friends on Outlaw. Seems that I have not given them enough attention, for which I apologise. The reason is that they have been sailing a near perfect race managing to pick the right side of the breeze and making steady progress up the South Atlantic. Right now they are a bit to the east of the rhumb line doing just under an average speed of 7 knots. In the last 24-hours they covered a more than respectable 190 nautical miles in perfect Trade Wind conditions. In all, skipper Campbell Mackie and his ace Aussie crew have their heads down and are cracking on with getting the job done.

As are Evrika, Triana, White Shadow and Galiana WithSecure with the indomitable Tapio Lehtinen on Galiana cracking his whip and it’s paying off. They are currently lying first in Adventure Class.

I do make fun of the team on Sterna about how they wear flip-flops but it’s true. It’s South Africa’s (unofficial) national footwear. In fact when Sally and I got married I wore flip-flops (she signed off on the deal.) I once went tandem skydiving and it wasn’t until we were above 14,000 feet that I noticed that the pilot was wearing flip-flops. Skipper Jeremy Bagshaw and his team on the Swan 53 are making their own way up the coast in champagne sailing weather. The wind will be just off their starboard quarter coming in warm and salty; just the way that sailors like it.

Sail on all salty men and women participating in this great adventure. Enjoy the good going while the going is still good and sail fast and sail safe.

Ps: for those interested I am finally out of the hospital. Thanks all for the well wishes.

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