At the Clipper Yacht Race, it’s been a day of competitive sailing with Jamaica Get All Right, PSP Logistics and Qingdao all in the Ocean Sprint part of the course where two points are on offer for the fastest boat to cross the Scoring Gate.
Just 15 miles separates leaders Jamaica Get All Right from PSP Logistics and Qingdao are 32 miles behind them in third position.
And things are incredibly close between fifth-placed Derry~Londonderry~Doire and sixth-placed Henri Lloyd with just a mile between them and OneDLL 16 miles ahead in fourth position chasing the top three.
The yachts have been celebrating in the presence of a Royal visitor over the last two days as they have been crossing the Equator.
Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, describes the special day on board.
'Shortly after lunch, the 18 pollywogs dutifully, if a little nervously, lined up along the rail for their audience with King Neptune and his faithful servant, Davy Jones. Davy introduced the great King Neptune who came aboard from the depths with a trident (boat-hook) and flowing silver (spectra) beard. Neptune was angered that the pollywogs had crossed into his realm without invitation and demanded a sacrifice to amend things before the initiation could begin. Out came the hair clippers and every pollywog parted with a small lock of hair.
'Round the world crew member Andrew Taylor, who is more follicle-challenged than his skipper, decided that the only hair he could part with was on his chest. We conferred with Davy who cleared it with Neptune and now Andrew has a large 'go faster stripe' down his sternum!
'Once satisfied with the sacrifice, Neptune proposed a toast with his own salty blood (a vile concoction of tomato juice, salt water, tabasco and who knows what else!) to the newly initiated shellbacks.'