I don't know anyone who manages to keep all their New Year resolutions, but here are some of mine

As she battles in the Southern Ocean for a podium position on Leg 3 of the Around Alone, 28-year-old British skipper, Emma Richards, found time to send us her first log of the New Year from Pindar.

She is currently at 47 degrees South Latitude, and 118 degrees East longitude – just past Cape Leeuwin below Australia and around 1,000nm West of Tasmania in fifth place and closing in on her nearest rivals ahead, Simone Bianchetti on Tiscali and Graham Dalton on Hexagon.

“I don’t know anyone who manages to keep all their New Year resolutions, but here are some of mine – to appreciate the good weather more when its good, to not let any Italians or Kiwis beat me in any races this year, to get my tactics right and stick to them from the beginning of each leg not halfway through when I have given myself more miles to catch up already, to eat better, and to enjoy the local vineyards more when I get to each destination, to enjoy every moment of people’s company and stories on land, and somehow save it in a box so I can open it out here when I’m feeling a bit too alone!

“I’m sure there are a few more but can’t think of them just now – admittedly, they differ a little from my usual resolutions! 2003 has started off well though with a gybe south not long after I had been through the gate, and a little earlier than Simone and Graham, which I am hoping will pay later – there is a little more wind here and I got the shift slightly earlier, but again, time will tell.

“I had a message from Bruce (Schwab) this morning, demoralised as he has broken his vang and is sailing under foresails alone at the moment but if he has the 30-40kts that I have, he won’t need much else! I also received a Bonne Annee! from Thierry (Dubois) who has had a frustrating couple of days watching Bernard get further ahead and us closing in behind, but I don’t think he need worry, he is back in the wind now and still has more than 400 miles on Pindar (which I am trying to do something about).

“This is an unusual way to start the year, alone on a 60ft yacht in the Southern Ocean, surfing up to 28kts of boatspeed in up to 40kts of wind. Lonely? Yes, a little, but I have had some fantastic messages and a few short phone calls to hear everyone, and the sun is shining, and in a couple of weeks I will be able to celebrate on land, in company! I hope all of you have seen in the New Year in style, and continue the year that way. Best wishes from the Southern Ocean, all the albatross, Pindar and Emma xxx”