UNICEF has arrived in Seattle in second place after an epic race while other teams have sustained significant damage and are limping to Seattle. My USA trip visiting the National Parks is progressing well with visits to Yosemite, Kings Valley and Sequoia National Park and Death Valley today.
This has been a crazy week consisting of a hero’s welcome, visits to the medical centre and, much more importantly, a moving visit to a day centre for Agent Orange victims, crossing roads with thousands of scooters and motorbikes whizzing past, repairing a 300 square meter spinnaker sail, a gala price giving dinner with original Vietnam entertainment, a visit to an ancient heritage site My Son and the old town of Hoi An and top all that with an evening sailing parade with 250 thousand people lining the river clapping and cheering. Where do I begin? Should I even try to capture all that?
The race finish has finally been called and we have arrived in Da Nang. Both the crew and the boat are battered and bruised but we have survived 31 days on the ocean in hot, calm and stormy weather with lots of entertainment thrown in the mix. We had breakages on the boat and crew including my hand which is causing some pain and inhibits me doing my job aboard the boat. I hope it is only bruised but I will need to get it seen to in Da Nang. It is one of the many events this week such as having a fishing buoy and rope caught around the keel and rudder, running backstay shackle on the mast broken and being grounded for 30 minutes on the Han river in Da Nang despite having a pilot aboard.
A week of storms which tired the crews to the limit, penalty points which resulted in Unicef having “negative” points, ocean sprints, speed records, arrivals into Cape Town and controversy about the time trial decision. Also Unicef is due to arrive into Cape Town as you read this post.