Ericsson 4's media man Guy Salter gets to grips with life below decks

So we are finally on the way on the new look Volvo race, large interest from the Alicante and Spanish crowds made it a really good pre-race gathering. After getting the difficult goodbyes to our families and supporters out of the way it was definitely down to business onboard. The start could not have been better for us onboard E4, first round the top mark and in a good amount of wind – the breeze was best in the late afternoon seeing us get speeds of up to 30kts, and the miles to Gib got chewed up by the whole fleet.

It’s a little strange in the new media role I have taken on, I definitely find myself in front of the computer screen a lot more than expected and this isn’t really a pleasant experience as whilst the boys are on deck enjoying the ride, I am trying to concentrate on a screen which is leaping in front of my eyes and making me feel a touch queasy – something I rarely suffer from.

Then came the Gib straights, and it could not have been more different from the previous few hours if it had tried, very light and fickle winds. With Ryan Godfrey often up the mast to pick our way past the glassy holes in the wind, we made very slow progress. Along side us were our old pals from E3, with the rest of the fleet 20 – 30 miles behind – but gaining. By the time we were moving once more (early hours of Monday morning) the fleet were back in sight, right now we can see Puma, Telefonica Black, Green Dragon and E3 between 6 and 10 miles behind. We are all on port gybe sailing south off the Moroccan coast.

The reality of exactly what the media job entails has finally become reality, all the training before was without the onboard media desk and the environmental testing kit. So now it’s all about taking a few stills or video – processing it to be sent off when the weather is downloaded, making the boys a meal (if they are too busy sailing or changing sails).

Then I’m trying to do the water testing environmental study we are part of, which involves taking a sample, mixing some chemicals, adding it to the water sample and putting this sample into a luminoscope to get a reading – which we then record. We are testing for the levels ATP (a nucleotide important in the transportation of energy in metabolism), this ATP is found in the cells of the zoo and phytoplankton in the water sample.

How my already full days go when we start getting into big breezes during this leg will be interesting and I guess very tiring, but for now as we cruise along at 10kts in about as much wind it is good practice to get used to the media sending system and its temperamental software.

Guy Salter – Ericsson 4