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Day 209

By Brian Hancock

I try hard to keep these updates interesting and so far have written over 200 since the race started. But sometimes I come up short. Isabelle Andrieu on Translated 9 trumped me with a video update that defies all emotion and I neglected to post it. Go to the Translated 9 Facebook page, take some time out of your Sunday, and witness what it means to race a small sailboat around the world. It’s not easy, but (and I know that this is a well used cliché) if it was easy everyone would be doing it. It’s not easy and that’s why there are just a few that signed up for nine months of a wet ass and tragedy like that that which has befallen Translated 9. We all in the greater OGR community wish them a safe passage to Madeira and a hero’s welcome. I never use the word hero (it’s way too overused) but in this case it seems appropriate. A hero’s welcome when they finally sail up the Solent and finish their odyssey off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. By the way I did see on offer on Facebook by my friend Ricardo Diniz. He can help being Portuguese and familiar with Madeira.

By the time this is posted Marie Tabarly and her team on Pen Duick VI will have under 1,000 nautical miles to go. Careful, carefully my friends. Being Sunday I am sure that you can almost smell the fish and chips coming from The Anchor Inn on High Street in Cowes. PDVI do have a strong trough of high pressure just ahead of them which they will have to negotiate, but the wind should be up the chuff (nautical term) and PDVI is well suited for that kind of sailing. L’Esprit d’équipe is still hanging tough and while they are in more gentle winds right now they too will find that rollicking breeze and scoot toward the finish. They averaged just under 10 knots in the last 24-hours.

Further back there is the march of the penguins with Spirit of Helsinki leading the way, Neptune, Maiden and Outlaw are still in the hunt. There is a gap with a light low pressure that should give the boats and crew one last chance to dry out before the final push. Evrika leads this lot while Galiana WithSecure and Triana and White Shadow are there to make sure that everyone is safe.

Being Sunday I am sure that on Sterna they have the flat screen out, the blender cranking and possibly, just possibly a chance to give their flip flops one last airing out. It all looks good out on the water. So while you relax and are perhaps flipping the TV looking for some sporting event, take some time to witness the heartbreak aboard Translated 9 and watch Isabelle Andrieu’s video. It will make you want to hug your children closer tonight.

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