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Race Report

Ericsson 4 Leg Five Day 32

Not far now until we are round the Horn - the border between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans - looks like the Ericsson 3 boys have managed to hold us off - and fair play to them - they played a good move early after the last scoring gate - a move which none of the rest of us were brave enough to play, and go against all that is traditional with the NZ to the Horn leg - but then this leg hasn’t really been very traditional.

A northerly route was a little surprising for all. But the race does not finish at the Cape and it’s all go for the rather long sprint to Rio. I know that there are a few of the lads on the good ship Ericsson 4 who are extremely hungry for his leg victory.

The cold doesn't automatically turn off when we round the Horn - there is a hell of a lot of sailing before the survival suits get packed away and the thermals slung in a plastic bag to fester until wash day ashore. There will no doubt be some light spots to deal with also as we head north.

We are expecting a bit of a storm as we round the Cape - so it will be the full Horn experience and maybe not the time for us to tuck into our nice cigars that I have stashed within my water testing kit. But even if they come out in a day or so, I’m sure we will all enjoy them as they will be something a little different to the mundane, day to day activities.

Everyone is excited about the Horn rounding with untold media requests.  I just hope that we can deliver all that is expected. As I sit here at my office desk, I can see untold stumbling blocks lining up for a hectic few hours.

The top of my desk sits about knee height from the hull surface and around my ankles is about 40mm of fresh saltwater, which ingresses through a small leak below the media desk.  It’s like typing whist sat in a kid’s paddling pool. This water obviously isn’t good for any of the electronic equipment we use aboard.  It’s probably the reason why I have only one camera which works - so long as I cook it in the engine bay a few times a day.

I have avoided getting my Mac out of its waterproof case for the last few days as we have been getting thrown around a fair amount and also, when we broke our steering a few days ago, the wave we buried in also found a couple of other areas to pour inside the boat - all within a metre of the media area.  So, apart from some bailing, there has been a lot of plugging going on.

We have a scheduled broadband outage also today, where the satellites  get turned off for a few hours plus some live broadcasting planned  which, if it works will be great but the satellites and the conditions need to be playing ball. So hopefully all will line up and the day will go without a hitch - but seeing as we are still in the Southern Ocean, I’m expecting untold dramas.

There has been a chat about rights earned for passing the Horn:  earrings, feet on table at meal times and tattoos of tall ships under full sail.  Ryan (Ryan Godfrey) is contemplating doing it all but I’m sure in reality he may not bother. I have often thought of the tattoo, but then thought  against the idea as I’m sure it wouldn't suit - plus my Mum would  probably get a little upset - as mothers do!, After all we are all  still six years old in their eyes.

Guy Salter - MCM