Wednesday 14 October 2009

Round the World Update: Race 2, Day 21

We're following the progress of SAS consultant Andy Phillips as he competes aboard yacht Team Finland in the Clipper 09-10 Round The World yacht race for amateur sailors. Andy's yacht won the first race (from England to France) but times are tougher in race 2: France to Brazil. It's a much longer course, and there are hurdles along the way, such as the infamous Doldrums.

Despite the hurdles, Team Finland is leading race 2, by some distance.  You can see the boats' positions in the Viewer on the home page. The Doldrums have had a marked effect on the race with half of the field having navigated through or round them and now motoring towards Rio in Brazil, and with the other half becalmed or, in the case of the unfortunate California, not having yet reached them.

In keeping with the spirit of the event, Team Finland's crew are thinking of their fellow competitors and have offered to great California with mops and buckets in order to do California's deep clean whilst her crew take a well deserved rest (or a few beers).

Team Finland may be leading but it hasn't been an uneventful trip. Andy wrote in his diary a couple of weeks back:
Picture the scene; it's around 8pm on a balmy Monday night somewhere off the coast of the Canaries.

The sun has set and there is only moonlight to guide the way. Life on deck is subdued with only the greetings of a watch change to break the steady purring of the boat powering on.

From nowhere something leaps from the water, a shriek is then sharply followed by a cry of, "Something strange just touched my bottom!"

This was the scene last night on Team Finland that could have cost us valuable miles. Much to Eve's horror - and our amusement - she had been accosted by a randy squid! We're not sure how or why but this little sea creature leapt 2 metres into the air with unerring precision and smacked her square on the backside! She then proceeded to run away squealing, prompting even more laughter. Helming when you can't see for tears certainly makes things more interesting. Once the squid had been given a stern talking to it was later released back to the ocean.

The only low point of the day was one of our crew getting burnt by some hot water. We've two doctors on board so she was immediately taken care of and I'm glad to say is on the road to making a full recovery. Everyone else is fine and has just enjoyed a glorious sunrise over Fuerteventura. We're pushing the boat a wee bit harder to see if we can make any gains on our rivals so hopefully that Finnish flag on the race viewer will begin sneaking up further forward.

Hi to everyone back home missing you all lots.

Andy Phillips
Good luck with the remainder of race 2, Andy. We're cheering for you...