The situation at the front of the Global Challenge fleet is about to change. Duggie Gillespie, skipper of the leading boat Spirit of Sark, reveals all
Leg 2 of the Global Challenge
Logged at: 2310 GMT
Position: 52 38N,126 05W
“It is happening to us again and we don’t like it. It is unpredictable; some say a lottery, some say, though, it is all about skill. Either way it is unbelievably frustrating.
“It is happening to us again – we are steering straight into a flat Southern Ocean calm – an old low pressure with no direction and at the mercy of the fickle surrounding weather pushing it about.
“The real mood twister – ‘the scheds’ for 1944 GMT arrived, the positions of all other race boats. Lost miles 12,21,18,15. I cannot read anymore. I feel sick, physically sick. This whole yacht racing suddenly seems so unfair.
“That so many of these boats should profit for free from the miles that we have fought so hard to gain, as we park and they all catch up behind us. My experience and time at sea tells me this is the cut and thrust of ocean yacht racing, the name of the game, the price you pay for being in the lead in light airs…. but I had to get up on deck away from all this frustration and disillusion, from the mugginess of below decks and the peering eyes of the crew around the chart table, waiting to see my reaction.
“I know from bitter experience that my mood counts for the large part of the mood on board, so away out to hide my very deep disappointment and realisation that despite holding our lead for about two weeks through thick and thin, our time may be up. There is absolutely nothing I can do. I chose our route from the information I had. It was clearly not the correct move. I have no doubt the boats to the north will chew up the lead and spit us out down the line. And then the fight begins all over, yet again. We cannot, let this one go.
“Try to take my mind off it – helming. It was then one of the watch leaders, Rach J, commented ‘This is it then, isn’t it?’ knowing full well what she was meant. ‘Yep’, was all I could say, desperately trying to hide my feelings yet knowing she already knew my true thoughts.
“All will be revealed in the next scheds in three and half hours time.”