From on board Magellan Alpha, Mike Garside sends his latest report from the Southern Ocean

On Friday 12 February, Mike Garside on Magellan Alpha writes:

The weather is still giving me a crazy ride down here. It’s not as though the wind is all that unfavourable. It’s from the SW and I’m heading SE. That puts the sea on the beam and the apparent wind of 25 to 30 knots at 60 degrees off the bow. Result is a lot of heel and being chucked sideways every now and again by one of the biggish seas I’m crossing! Anyway, it’s been good enough to let me grab back the lead. Now if I can only hold it to Punta…

Poor, poor Josh! That wretched mast had given him grief from day one. He and Scott, his devoted shore crew, had sweated buckets trying to repair one structural failure after another – ever since their maiden voyage from France to Charleston.

It really is a cruel end to one of the best British challenges in this tough old race in years. And now that Josh has joined Mike Golding and Robin Davie on the sidelines, I am the only Brit left on the playing field.

It’s a little bit sobering, too, when I think that before Josh was dismasted, the last two British contenders for the big time, Tracy Edwards and Lawrie Smith, also both lost rigs on this stretch of the Southern Ocean.

And only a little further back, in Chay Blyth’s last two Global Challenges, so did Chris Tibbs and Richard Tudor. The same fate befell Robin Davie in the last BOC Challenge.

Prudence would probably suggest the need to rein back a bit. But I came here to win this race and if I don’t deliver a good result on this leg there’s no longer any hope of that. After J-P won such a huge lead on leg 2 I now have little choice but to give it my all. Anything less would be an unconditional surrender.

Of course, if I need any encouragement on the determination front, I’ve only got to look to Marc Thiercelin. Marc is going like a bat out of hell at the front of Class 1 and has just set a new world record for a 24 hour solo run.

Oh, and by the way, the company that built Josh’s mast also made Marc’s – and mine.