Miranda Merron on the GOR: Contemplating second

Miranda Merron on the GOR: Contemplating second

Saturday October 29 2011 Author: Miranda Merron Location: none selected

There are only about 60 miles left to the finish line of Leg 1. Probably not in a straight line either. Therefore no ETA as yet. it is highly likely that we will have to negotiate light and variable winds. You have to earn your finish in Cape Town.

It is a rather nice day and the sea state is pleasant. It's as if the South Atlantic wanted to be forgiven for all the vile stuff it has thrown at us since Fernando.

As you can see, we lost the race, or at least this leg. So while the French rugby team only took 2 x 45 minutes to work out that the Kiwis are stronger than them, we were a little slow on the uptake and took many days to come to the same conclusion.

In any case, it is a well-deserved victory, and with a reasonable margin. We are of course rather disappointed, having kidded ourselves for a while that we could hold them off, even in conditions theoretically more favourable for them. We do not think that we pushed "Campagne de France" as hard as the Fields pushed "BSL". Partly because we don't know the boat yet, and partly we are paying the heavy physical price of our year of boat building, without any time off, compounded with the stress of not knowing whether we would be able to complete the project as we didn't have a title sponsor in place at the start of the project.

Now that the first boat has finished, we too are looking forward to finishing. We have no competition in the immediate vicinity to play with, and as the Global Ocean Race is scored on points rather than time, there isn't even the stimulation of gaining a few minutes.

We are trying not to think too much about the good things at the finish (fresh food, decent wine, cold beer, unlimited fresh hot water shower, dry sheets, clean non-salty clothes... in no particular order). Partly because there is still some distance to the finish, and partly due to superstition that until the finish line has been crossed, anything can happen, and so it is important to stay focussed on the present. And anyway, being at sea is not always horrible, and it is worth making the most of a fine day such as today. A little like spending time with friends and family before time apart, or savouring the last few days of a holiday. To sum it up race-wise, we cannot wait to cross the finish line, and have even had more than enough, given how hard some of this leg was, but at the same time we are aware of how lucky we are to be here, and that we will make landfall in Cape Town as the first pioneers did long ago, and it makes it worth savouring the last few hours at sea.

The next news will probably be sent from land, unless Neptune decides that our company is worth hanging on to for a little longer. In which case we will reopen the Campagne de France post office.

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