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Race Report

Ericsson 4 Leg Eight Day 5

Tense times aboard Ericsson 4 as we battle up the west coast of Denmark. Our sparring partners in the match race are Green Dragon - who it has to be said are much improved of recent times, whether it’s due to a gained confidence and renewed support from Ireland or due to the extra thousand or so team members they have enlisted via the online game.  But, whatever the reason, Ian and boys have been sailing well. The question for us is; are we duelling for first and second at the moment or are we fighting for sixth and seventh?

With the spread across the fleet and the way the wind and weather has been, both could be realistic outcomes. Puma are way to the west and are romping along on every sched - it all depends on what the low pressure decides it wants to do and, ultimately, who will be first into Marstrand. Everyone is gripped by the scheds as they come in - more so  than usual if that is possible and, as we sit on the edges of our seats,  all we can do is wait and see and keep our fingers crossed.

What we can do here off the coast of Denmark is fight our own little  fight and let the rest play itself out - after all it’s not like we have a hyperspace button at hand to move us from where we are to a  better position.

The wind has been extremely fickle to say the least - searching for light winds and trying fruitlessly to avoid the calm parking lots.  When I say we are sailing up the coast of Denmark - I really do mean up the coast - we are literally on the beach and very rarely stray too far from the shore line.  It means we are getting a good look at the glorious looking beaches and sand dunes. At one stage we were forced to gybe away from the shore or run aground.  As we did this we could see a man walking his dog and going about his day oblivious to what 11 stupid men were doing on a yacht just outside of the surf-line. 

We battled light spots and rather extreme wind shifts and could see that the best place was to sail on the less favoured gybe and get back inshore to where it appeared there still to be the odd zephyr. When we got back inshore about 15 mins later we were just barely 100m further up the coast and could see one man and his dog returning from their walk - at that point he would have been wondering why we wouldn’t be using our engine - crazy sailors!

The rest of the crew are still surviving well off barely no sleep and  at present are either moving the sails around to counteract the  occasional puff or sleeping in full gear.  That’s why you are reading my thoughts today (again!!!) and not those of one of the real heroes onboard - apologies.

It’s definitely a little cold on deck but gets a whole lot nicer when the sun manages to find a clear spot in the grey and slightly damp sky. We may have only been out here a few days but it feels like weeks, but a change to the normal psychology is that the excitement of being onshore after a long period afloat isn’t present even though we have well under 200nm left to go.

This will be a hard fought and often scrappy fight to the finish and all I can guarantee is that all onboard Ericsson 4 will put in every ounce they have to get us to the pit stop as quick as is humanly possible - nothing new there!

So it’s looking like sail changes and gear changes galore!

See you in Marstrand

Guy Salter - MCM