After a little heart palpitations re the food first thing on race day
morning we had an early start on the boats.  I had organized pre cooked
food from a caterers/restaurant for both days into London, so that nobody
had to do the cooking.  I was to collect it at 8.30am, ready for a 9.30am
last call on board.  The night before I got a text saying that they had had
a busy day, and it wouldn’t be ready until 10.00am.  I politely phoned and
said that we wold have left by 10.00am, and he agreed to 9.00am.  We had a
“Round The Worlders” photo call at 8.45am, so we went straight after that.
The place was locked up and deserted.  I didn’t have a plan B! Then a
little man arrived on his bicycle and everything was alright.  Phew!We left Den Helder expecting not very nice weather, and knowing that we had
to do well.  We could finish between fifth and tenth overall depending how
we, and certain other boats, did on this last race.  We donned our foul
weather gear, and got ready for the start.  We made quite a good start, and
popped the spinnaker straight away.  We seemed to get caught up in a whole
load of boats and just watched as most of them overtook us.  Oh dear!

It has sort of gone that way for the whole race so far.  Other boats seem
to have the edge on us.  Not sure if we are dragging sea weed, or just not
good enough, but something isn’t right. Whatever decision we make seems to
be the wrong one.  Just one of those days I suppose.  If everything stays
as it is at present we will be tenth.  Nowhere near as good as if we were
fifth!

Telly Tubbies had a lady fall with a suspected broken shoulder, and we
watched as the helicopter came and winched her off.  They were about eight
miles ahead of us, and we heard the call come over the radio to the
coastguard.  Thye let off a flare so that the helicopter could identify
their boat, and it hovered over whilst things were readied.  It was a few
miles away, so we didn’t have that good a view, but we saw the cage being
winched up and off it went.

They are one of the boats that we had to beat, but even with all of that
they are still marginally ahead of us.  It just isn’t going to be our day!
There is a very strange feeling on the boat, with the round the worlders so
looking forward to being home.  I don’t have that same feeling as I have
already been home, so it is strange not to be feeling the same way as them.
I am ready to finish the race now, but I will still be sad to say goodbye
to my “boat family”.

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I am sorry there are no pictures but I have had so much stuff to bring to London for Missy that I had no room for the laptop! I’m typing this on my phone and struggling. Paul xx
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