The first boat has now crossed the finish line of Race 5: The Heart of the Whitsundays and what a race it has been! Eating up the last of the miles to the Whitsundays, each team is vying to attain the best possible finish that they can and are giving one final push to see if those precious seconds do make a difference.
Whilst every crew member has their eye firmly on the prize, there has also been much reflection on the race, the team and in particular - this leg so far.
Imagine Your Korea’s AQP (Additional Qualified Person) Sam Cooper comments: “I think that we now have our winning combination of a tough and tight-knit crew, and a skipper who will continue to support them and push them on to become better still. This is the leg they think where they've learnt the most.”
Ha Long Bay,Viet Nam’s Skipper Josh Strickland reflects:“It’s been a real test for me personally - I was finding decisions to be very high stake and fortunately most have paid off!
The splendour and beauty of the iconic Great Barrier Reef has not gone unnoticed by the crew. Says Dare to Lead’s AQP Hugues Stelios: “It's an amazing feeling to be there in such an iconic place”
Lady luck helped GoToBermuda yesterday when they experienced an ‘hourglass’ scenario - this is when the sail spins around and twists up. This could have resulted in a repack which would have had a significant impact on their progress, but thankfully the sail unwrapped itself and they remain in third place.
The gap between GoToBermuda and Seattle couldn’t be closer. Says Seattle’s Skipper David Hartshorn: “The margin between the two boats behind is very tight and we didn’t extend the gap between us and them, to even think about having our current position secured. The fact that we are so close, but with still a significant distance to race, means that everything seems to have gone into slow motion”
Everything counts at this stage of the race. Says Rich Gould, Skipper of WTC Logistics: “It's pretty much a drag race to the finish line now, the forecast suggests this gybe will carry us to within 20 or so miles of the line. With only 285.2 miles of the race course left any mistakes are going to be costly, with few miles left to regain any losses. It's imperative now that concentration remains high, and that we don't get distracted by thoughts of cold beers and big steaks.”
It has been a frustrating finish for Visit Sanya,China, after completing a great ocean sprint, Skipper Seumas Kellock made a decision to accept 11th place and sail to Airlie Beach using both the engine and sail.