Happy New Year!

The spinnaker pole repairs are pretty much complete. The product of Petri’s ingenuity and engineering has yet to be tested though as we are waiting for a patch of light downwind sailing to test it.


If the pole lasts for an hour, it will likely last the rest of the race. In the interim our sail options are limited. We sail as hard and deep as we can with our last remaining downwind sail, an A3 spinnaker.

The need to preserve our last remaining downwind sail makes us perhaps overly conservative, furling it when the true wind climbs above a measly 20kts. The upside is that it allows us all to get a little more rest as we can sail with just one person on deck when we are not flying a spinnaker. And we do need the rest.

The daily position reports keep us motivated. We are doing well, perhaps even superbly well. Tom’s navigation has been spot on. We are well placed for the anticipated weather for the next few days and I would not willingly exchange our position for that of any other boat in the fleet.

Thanks to Ollie we are eating fantastically well. Thai green curry, chicken vindaloo, superb steak rolls. We will have fillet and champagne tonight to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Open bar. All welcome. Location: the Valdivia banks, where a seamount rises steeply 5000m out of the mid-Atlantic to just 23m below the surface.

While the sailing directions exhort skippers to keep a keen look out for fishing trawlers in the vicinity we have yet to see another vessel. Perhaps the fish are long gone.

Happy new year to all.



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