By Brian Hancock
OK, before we get into the real meat of this update let’s answer yesterday’s quiz. But first, there were two winners on Facebook. Guy (I don’t want to use his last name without his permission), and Christian (no last names). Guy is going to get a chicken dinner (on me) and Christian will get that Canadian favourite; poutine. Now I have eaten the rotten fish that they serve in Iceland and have enjoyed it. My boys are half Icelandic but that marriage went south after 20 years. But poutine? Not sure I like that (sorry). And speaking of marriages, After a few tries, I found the love of my life, Sally, so don’t give up hope.
I will come back to the answer to the quiz in a bit. The McIntyre Ocean Globe Race fleet is riding the breeze and are dipping further south. Ms Tabarly is copping a stiff one, breeze that is, and is riding at full speed. Translated 9 has hit the ‘go’ button. Not sure how that’s said in Italian but they sure are as heck moving along. The ladies on Maiden, and you know that I love Maiden, have put their lipstick on and their foot on the gas and are averaging 11.4 knots last time I looked on the Yellow Brick thingamajig and are holding their own.
Spirit of Helsinki came south to find more wind and they found it but they seem to have lost their stride a little compared to Leg 1, in which they were first into Cape Town. They are riding the edge of that low pressure system that is making life miserable for the rest of the fleet, but they are averaging over 10 knots so maybe they know something that I don’t. And there is a lot that I don’t know; about everything, although I can cook a fairly decent turkey and Thanksgiving is next week in the good old USofA.
OK, this saddens me because other than all the other boats in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race, Godspeed was my favourite. They have succumbed to boerewors and cheap red wine in Cape Town and have withdrawn from the race. The boerewors (a local and extremely tasty sausage) and the red wine which I may or may not have had a flagon or two when growing up hiding behind the trees near our home, hoping that some girls would come by and find me sexy, but I digress (ADHD). It’s a heartbreaking decision to quit something that must have been a dream of theirs for many years. Rock on Godspeed. You served and that counts a lot in my book. I served, just for the other side…
Sterna is still into the moonshine in Mossel Baai and Explorer is back in Cape Town to fix their headsail mess. An around-the-world race is no rodeo; it just a long open road full of potholes.
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this. My friend Tapio Lehtinen, we both did the earlier version of this race back in ’80s so I consider him a friend for life. He was doing the McIntyre Golden Globe Race which is a total, as in total, retro race. Around the world solo, non-stop like it was ’68. (I was just 10 then and dreaming of a life the open ocean). Tapio’s beautiful boat Asteria sank on this day last year and he was rescued by my fellow South African, and awesome athlete Kirsten Neuschäfer who went on to win the race, Such an incredible achievement, and she was just awarded the Female 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Now you see why I have always supported women in sailing. And a huge round of applause from all of us living in America.
So back to my quiz. A few years ago I did a circumnavigation of Newfoundland. Such a stunningly beautiful part of this beautiful planet. Anyway, the owner of the boat told me that he could not wait to get to St. Pieere and Miquelon (there is your answer). They are French owned and are some 15 miles off the coast of Canada – go figure. He told me, they are beautiful and very quiet. As we got closer to the islands they were less than quiet. All we could hear was the honking of horns. The French had just won the Soccer World Cup. Vive la France. And since I haven’t mentioned them recently, here’s to you L’Esprit d’équipe.