This week started with the shocking news that “IchorCoal” had a terrible fatal accident to crew member Andrew Ashman on Saturday morning while the team were reefing the mainsail. The boat diverted to Oporto in Portugal and a team of Clipper including Sir Robin Knox-Johnson flew out to meet the team.
This is the first fatality in the history of Clipper and 9 successful round the world challenges. The safety record of Clipper has been very good indeed, accidents always happen but have so far been limited to broken bones, concussions and bruises. Safety is instilled in all of us at every step during the four levels of training. The IchorCoal team has decided to continue racing in honour of Andrew and has left Oporto on Tuesday 8th September to race to Rio de Janeiro.
On a more positive note, I have now got my Australian Visa. In contrast with the four hour wait for an interview at the US Embassy in London, this time I completed a form online and received the Australian VISA in PDF form within an hour. Next is the Vietnam VISA for which I need to, guess what …….. fill in a form online, then sign and print it and then post it with a photo and my passport to the Vietnam embassy in London. Should be a five day turnaround.
Team Unicef are slowly creeping up in the rankings albeit currently, Wednesday 9th September, in 8th place and 534 miles behind the leader. But these standings keep changing by the hour. Team LMAX Exchange are strongly leading the race with a lead over Great Britain and Derry~LondonDerry~Doire. They have chosen an eastern route past the Canary Islands where more wind was expected.
Today, Friday 11th September – day 11 of the race positions are changing every day. The wind is very variable and the teams are seeking out the best winds. Mission Performance seems to be heading back, but apparently she has difficulties with the water maker and is meeting up with TeleMed for spares. Being without a water making machine is not ideal with 20 people aboard in tropical conditions and just before the doldrums.
The Race leader LMAX Exchange is set to cross the Scoring Gate this afternoon and claim the maximum three bonus points on offer.This weekend is packing time as my gear will be shipping forward to Australia. It will save me carrying it around for three weeks. There was a bit of a panic as the sailing boots I used during four weeks of training are too small for double socks and a dry-suit. So I bought another pair two sizes bigger which fit perfectly. Expensive mistake!! So I have a pair of size 10 Musto HPX Ocean Boots in Dark Grey for sale if anyone is interested, let me know.