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Clipper Race 2013-14 – Day five from OneDLL skipper Olly Cotterell

by Clipper Round The World Yacht Race on 23 Mar 2014
Race 10 day 5 Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race 2013-14 - Race 10 day 5, OneDLL - Olly Cotterell, Good morning OneDLL fans! Welcome to sailing day 7.

I hope you are having a good weekend. Well its bang or bust here! Only a few hours ago we had over 40 knots across the deck. Now we have six knots at a peak and three in a lull.

The crew and I are very thankful for the reprieve but we are obviously nervous as to how this 'wind Hole' or high pressure system will affect the fleet positions. Will it affect the rear guard as much as it affects us at the front? Should I have gone further north? Will the south pay even though the distance travelled is greater? All questions that have been playing on my mind for a few days.

As it is, it seems the path I chose is the middle ground, along with Qingdao. Henri Lloyd and Old Pulteney are just south and Great Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire are to our north.

At the moment we still have the sea state left over from the low pressure that has moved off the north east. This means sails are flogging and the boat is wallowing in an ungainly fashion that makes it difficult even to get around. Progress has gone from nearly 300 miles a day to current, 'well at least the current is taking us in the right direction at two knot,' situation.

While this time is a bit of a reprieve, don't think we are not using it. I am just about to go up on deck and take the main sail down. We have one batten that has broken, one that has fallen out and the leach line (line that runs up the inside of the back edge of the sail) that needs adjusting. We also have to inspect the main track as something is catching the cars (things that connect the mainsail to the mast). This means that the reefing process is taking a lot longer than it should and as a result we have the broken battens mentioned above.

We also have crew detailing the engine room, crew looking into where the water ingress into the crash bulkhead is coming from, crew working on the spinnaker halyards and sheets. One of the big foundations of racing and our campaign is preparation. In ocean racing that means taking opportunities to get ahead when they present themselves and that is what today is. It is also an opportunity for the off watch to catch up on some rest. The last few days have been hard on them, especially the new members who have had a good introduction into strong Pacific lows early on in their experience.

At the moment I am happy with our position, as long as the wind fills in as I hope it will and does not fill in significantly earlier for the others than it does for us. Once we have the main repaired it will be a case of trim, trim, trim, and concentrate.

A thanks must go out to my good friend Richard Gould, skipper of Invest Africa for doing a quote of the day yesterday. As I was very preoccupied on deck I did not get the time to do my traditional quote of the day, however
Rich filled in the gap nicely!

'Storms make Oaks take deeper root.'
George Herbert

(I truly believe that it is only through adversity and hard graft that a person can truly find and exceed their preconceived limits, often surprising themselves in the process.)

'Well at least the current is taking us in the right direction, when does that ever happen!' Rosie Gosling
Until tomorrow,

3, 2, OneDLL
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