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Race Report

Ericsson 4 Leg Five Day 26

Had great fun today – we were running with the code 4 spinnaker on and  surfing at some pretty good speeds with water pouring all over the  place.  The problem with these boats is that even the mid 20s seem a little pedestrian.

In my mind the sun was out, but, in reality it was grey and overcast all day – not sure when the sunnies will get used again. At times up on the bow, as we surfed along, you could look down below and I think that from the deck to the water below was around 4m.  Amazing considering that just a few metres behind you was the breaking part of the wave.

It was certainly better than recently.  I have been having some major league issues with my video cameras of late and at one point it was all doom and gloom with all of my three options seemingly not in operation.

It was definitely the low point for me of this leg. At the time it was hard to see why, as I had taken such care of the cameras, but in retrospect the pounding and the moisture just took its toll. Luckily, with the aid of all ashore, I have managed to bring one camera back to life and I still have hope for another.

When all were down it brought back a haunting memory which has plagued  me for some time and is part of the reason I’m back here, memories from  the 2001 –02 race onboard Tyco.

Back then we had days of dodging ice bergs and this made for spectacular footage.  We had snow settling on the deck and on the spinnaker pole and the usual big waves were washing along the decks and I was usually body surfing within them with my camera rolling.

On one occasion I had straddled the primary winch when we went into submarine mode and the boat went under a big wave, and, as the tons of water went over the yacht, they picked me and the camera up and dumped us a few metres down the yacht at the base of the steering pedestal.  The helmsman had also been washed off the wheel in the surge.

As I surfaced, the boat was full of water - which is rare for open-transomed yacht. I lifted my hand to see if the camera was still recording – it was gone!  Except for the handle and my adapted wrist safety band with all the parts of the water proof housing still attached.

I shouted – ‘camera’s gone’ to all around.

The boys who were stood by the transom looked in the knee-deep water as it flooded off the yacht for the camera. It was gone and I was absolutely gutted.

I still remember it was recording as the wave hit, the tape was at 48 mins –all of which was quality stuff – all gone.

I hope the images of the boat sailing off in the distance were recorded as we left it and that one-day the camera is washed up somewhere.

The feeling of losing so much film still hurts to this day but not as much as not getting the chance whilst down here would have done.

So thanks to all who have helped.

Cheers Livewire and Ericsson media team.

Guy Salter - MCM