Getting ready in Airlie Beach

This week has been a nail biting week for the crews and me for different reasons. The last race from Sydney to Airlie Beach was short and therefore the finish into Airlie Beach was very close with the winner LMAX Exchange and second placed yacht Great Britain 49 seconds apart.

Earlier in the week Mission Performance reported a massive sustained gust of 70 knots pinning the yacht at a steep angle and moving it sideward at 17 knots of speed. It shows how in these warmer climates the weather can change in an instant.

Clipper UNICEF had another good race coming in seventh place, after being in the top three a few days earlier. It was parked up with a few other yachts because of a lack of wind and sadly got away last hence the seventh place.

The UNICEF team has also been taught a new spinnaker peel routine where one spinnaker is hoisted while another is still flying. Read all about it and more in this blog post of Henry also explaining about the WAGS.

For me this week has been very exiting and and nerve wreaking. All my sailing gear was send to Australia in September last year to arrive at the end of November. It was delayed, got caught in strikes in Sydney harbour and then the back log and festive period delayed it even further. Finally on Tuesday this week it was delivered in Sydney while I was travelling to Airlie Beach 1,000 miles north.

With the help of Abbie, Matt, Marisa and John, we managed to air courier the bag to Airlie Beach overnight. An amazing team effort. With only one day to spare as I have to report as race crew today. Too close for comfort and many thanks go out to John and Marisa who arranged for the impressive feat of an overnight dispatch across Australia.

It’s all good now and can enjoy Airlie Beach in a more relaxed mental state. The scenery is impressive with the blue water, boats in the marina and bay and the Great Barrier Reef in sight just outside the breakwaters of the bay.

Today will be a busy day with leg 5 crew sign-in, welcome brief, UNICEF Team meeting and skipper handover. There is also plenty to do to get the boat ready for Monday when the race 7 and leg 5 starts.

My next blog will be written on Friday next week but will not be published until I I get another WiFi connection hopefully in Da Nang. But if you would like to follow the race you can subscribe to the daily Clipper News Letter by subscribing on the front page of the Clipper Round the World website. Look for the red box headed “Newsletter” enter your email address and you will get the daily digest email with news every day at 13:00 UK time.

Well, that is all for me for now until I arrive in Da Nang around the 22nd February.

All good.