The final ocean crossing is nearly complete as the fleet turned the corner of the Ice-box this week and are heading fast north to Derry-Londonderry. Many of the Round the World crew will be wondering how this year has gone so quick now that there is only one month left of their 11 month round the world journey.
The teams are arriving in New York as I write this blog post. Unicef has finished in 9th place and is motor sailing into New York, not the ranking which we have become accustomed to lately but a great effort under difficult circumstances. It has been a slow start to the race with little wind but it has finished on a high with Tropical Storm Colin, a spinnaker under the boat and a broach at the end of the Ocean Sprint.
Race 11 to New York has started in light airs which means days of little wind and many evolutions. Unicef had a slow start but are now sailing between Cuba and Haiti creeping up the rankings currently in eighth place. At 1930 nautical miles, Race 11, is less than half of the length of the last race. Sailing down the west coast of the USA from Seattle was over 4000NM, so Unicef will need to keep focused to achieve another podium position.
The boats are nearing the dreaded Doldrums where boats can be without any wind for days or weeks, but the Race Office has a strategy to ensure that all boats will reach the Panama Canal on time.
The fleet have roughly travelled a third of their way to Panama but then they have to motor through the Panama Canal and north again to New York.
Being back at work in a normal 8 to 5 routine is strange and monotonous after five months of not knowing what will happen in the next few hours, I will have to make sure I keep busy.