By Brian Hancock
The fleet of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race are enjoying some champagne sailing with a decent breeze up the chuff and some fun sailing ahead. While they are getting their sea legs back, let’s talk about Godspeed. Not the fact that they have not yet reached Cape Town, but of who they are. First know that I am a veteran – of the piss poor South African army – I was a tank commander for two years before I could even see over the steering wheel, but that aside. This is not about me but Veterans Day is coming up the Saturday in the US so it’s worth noting.
Taylor Grieger, the founder of Skeleton Adventures and the skipper of Godspeed served in the US Navy for six years as a rescue swimmer. Just think about that. He also led an expedition around Cape Horn to raise money and awareness for veteran suicide, something that happens far too often especially here where I live in the good old USofA where we think war is like a Sunday football game. There is therapy in sailing. It’s probably the slow slap slap of water on the hull that gives them peace. I’m not sure, but it is very therapeutic and may just take their minds off what happened on a real battlefield, not just the one that just threw water in your face (and the occasional flying fish).
There are two females on board Godspeed. Emma Walker and Julia Salinas. I find this beyond awesome because on a real battlefield we are all equal, we all bleed the same, and so it’s only right to have a mixed gender crew and I bet the ladies are doing more than half their share. Kudos (don’t like that word but I can’t think of another one to use) to Taylor and best of luck to them all for the rest of Leg 1 and the rest of the race. They only have 250 miles to go according to the Yellow Brick tracker and there is some breeze up the bum (nautical term) as they roll into the Mother City and will get to enjoy a big slice of biltong (jerky for the American’s reading) and a huge slice of milk tart, South Africa’s favourite dessert.
For those sailors that have left biltong and milk tart behind it’s a fairly decent playing field ahead. Moderate north-westerlies should make for some decent sailing and a little time to get ready for the big stuff yet to come which in a few days will likely include some headwinds, but such is life when you are out looking for adventure.
My job is to tell the story of this wonderful adventure There is a newsletter that you can subscribe to and press releases and Don’s daily updates on the Tracker which by the way are pretty awesome, but I have been around this track more than a few times and know the up’s and down’s that these sailors are going through. It’s not easy; neither is the military by the way, so I am glad that you are reading and hope that you are enjoying these updates and will spare a thought for all veterans on Veterans Day this upcoming Saturday, especially for those that didn’t come home.