Team Alvimedica, still at sea, updates us about the touchup that New Zealander Ryan Houston has been requesting for some time now.
Ryan Houston's been asking for a 'touchup' all trip. It's his way of saying that he wants to get extreme, but there's a certain Kiwi calmness to it that makes it sound less sinister than the situations it can potentially define.
I don't remember the exact moment last night that Housty confirmed we were, in fact, getting touched up. It may have been at first sign of 30-knot winds and upwind slamming with the second reef in the main. It may have been the steady build to 35 and first lighting strikes. Or it very well may have been the 40 knot outbursts, consistently closer lightning and driving rain. Doesn't much matter. Things were redlined for the better part of the night and it's safe to say we got schooled. But I think that's the theme of the trip: valuable lessons have been learned and every decision has been made with our safety as the number one priority.
We are out here to practice, to learn, and to make smart choices without the pressure of a race to force us otherwise. Nobody can expect to start sailing together and know what to do in every situation, and last night's events will pay dividends down the road. It was a touchup for sure-Will Oxley watched the barometer drop four milibars in 10 minutes-a feat he doubts he has ever seen before, and by the end of it when the Low had finally passed, we were back on our way to Southampton with all heads onboard and a fully functional yacht to take us there. For now that is the very best we can ask for. I doubt I'm the first to say it, but you can't practice winning without first practicing finishing. Team Alvimedica website