Match race nightmare

Three boats are now neck and neck just 23 miles behind illbruck

Monday February 18th 2002, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: Transoceanic
Trying time - Ray Davies reports from illbruck

This has been the most full on three weeks of my life. I hope my wife recognises me on the dock in Rio, with the amount of hair loss I've experienced, I'm sure she will have to look twice. The Southern Ocean was just incredible, literally weaving through growler packs, sailing through snowstorms and probably the most radical sailing moment of my life, driving Illbruck through a 47 knot rainsquall at 2 am in the morning in total darkness with the spinnaker up, we were absolutely on the edge of control. Wipeouts in those conditions are fatal! As proven by SEB.

Now more recently, with 250mn to go to have our 100nm lead whittled away to a mere 16 nm at a rate that would see us in a restart scenario has been frustrating to say the least. But this is yacht racing, you really have to be prepared for the worst and be ready to fight for each mile. I expect to be in a match race for the last few miles of this leg. Last night lost me another couple of dozen strands of hair. A massive cloud, which sucked our entire breeze away and shifted what little breeze we had through 100 degrees leading us well off course. Trying times onboard but this team is holding up well.

Time for some rest now.

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