No more ice


Ocean racing veteran Gordon McGuire finally throws in the towel with the Southern Ocean. Read on...
It was the most scary thing in my life. I have to say I feared for my life and I feared for the other 11 guys that you are responsible for when you're driving. When you go to sleep, you go into total denial because otherwise you can't sleep. You live in this constant world for two weeks. It is unbelievable. Scenario: evening watch, last half hour, it's getting dark, last light, everything's getting really dusty, it's foggy and you've got about 400 yards visibility. You're looking at your watch and you've got about 20 minutes to go. You're thinking, "ah, I'm just over this". It's blowing 35 knots, you're doing 25 knots of boat speed, you're just hanging on the wheel, you haven't wiped out, everything is under control, it's just another day at the office. The navigator sticks his head up the hatch and says "iceberg on the bow". You go "how far?" He says "one mile". One mile at 25 knots, you don't even want to think about it. It's like three minutes and you're on top it. The heart starts going and the whole thing is now elevated to a level that you just don't need. It's the end of your watch - you're over it. The sweat is running down the back of your neck, your feet are like ice blocks, your hands are like ice blocks, your face is raw red from the salt spray and all of a sudden you are being told "iceberg on the bow, one mile". Okay, when you're driving in those conditions we have a ten degree envelope to steer in. You can either go up five degrees or down five degrees and either side of that is a wipe out. So you are quite limited about where you can

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