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Day 98

By Brian Hancock

OK friends and neighbours, and even some neighbours who are not friends. We are a day or two away from my 100th update on this great McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Someone that knows how to count will have to count them. I am not good with numbers. How much fun but you have to know, it gets less easy to write an update when there are fewer boats out on the race course, and of course it’s Monday morning and the wind is howling out my window and the rain is lashing against the french doors. OK, well I have to admit, I did see my cat fly past the window and believe me (no body shaming here) it takes more that a hurricane to lift him. His name is Ziggy by the way.

But let’s go back to the real business at hand. White Shadow should see land today, well maybe tomorrow. There are light winds at Cape Reinga and then they are going to get some breeze right on the nose. Sometimes it’s unlucky to be unlucky but they are still trucking (nautical term) along at a fairly decent 6.6 knots.

Let me explain one thing. The speeds that you see on the Yellow Brick Road tracker (they should have called me for advice) is an average over the past 4 hours. That’s how these things work. If YB tracker posted the speed all the time, it would be like riding the merry-go-round at the town fair on a sunny Sunday afternoon after two ice cream sundaes and a couple of hot dogs.

But I digress. There are times when these boats are doing really high speeds. I used to (I sound old don’t I?) I used to give a lot of talks at yacht clubs, maritime museums, etc. There would always be one person, usually a man with a long white beard (not Santa) would ask me, “how can it be that you are doing 25 knots when the theoretical hull speed of the boat is just 8.6 knots?” I always have to stifle a smile, and after I compose myself I say, “gravity.” If you are at the crest of a cresting wave looking down, the boat is going to go just as fast as it wants, it’s really that simple.”

I have an eye on Sterna and Explorer. Let’s start with Sterna. They are at 48 degrees south. What are they thinking? Oh, I forgot, they are not thinking. They are South Africans (don’t shoot me – I am South African so I can say that). They are still in the Roaring 40’s, but if they keep going where they are going they will soon be into the Screaming 50’s. Now this is what I love about this team. They came for the adventure, they paid their money, and they are going to get their money’s worth. Good luck, but watch out for the ice. I know from whereof I speak. More of that nonsense in the next few days.

Explorer, instead, are opting for more of a gentleman’s cruise. They are up at 45 degrees north. Skipper Mark Sinclair knows where his bread is buttered and they are enjoying all of it.

Happy Monday to all the sailors of the OGR, even those in port trying to get over their hangovers, enjoy this great adventure. Oh, and before I forget, you just have to see this video. It will make your day. Go to Tapio Lehtinen Sailing on Facebook and look for it. They have recorded an awesome song. It’s main line is this and this is awesome. “Auckland save us a beer or two.” It’s so good I can’t tell you how much better it will make your day.

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