by Kenny Read (skipper)
Close but no cigar! Not literally, because we still have a few left over from Micky's (Michael Mueller/GER) baby shower...but figuratively.
After nearly 6000 miles of sailing the scoring gate was decided while going through a weather ridge about 500 miles from the scoring gate. Essentially Ericsson 4, Ericsson 3 and ourselves were lined up about one mile from each other ready for action. We took the leeward side expecting a large header. The breeze did head, but after a cloud literally came in and took Ericsson 4 away over the horizon in front of us. Ericsson 3 was next, off to about a 2 mile lead. Then il Mostro.
What ensued was a high speed port tack very wet reach, which had pretty much nothing in it. When we finally bailed out and started for the ice gate still 10 miles or so away from the scoring gate it was Ericsson 4 and Ericsson 3 who held on to nip us by almost exactly the amount they nudged us by at the ridge. A frustrating third, but I have said before and will say again - not for lack of trying. The boys aboard are in great spirits and we have preached a short memory. Time to concentrate on winning the gate at Cape Horn.
One thing that ceases to amaze me out here is the quickness of climate change. It seems like it went from sweating hot to four layer cold in about a day. Literally a day. We have a bit of a reprieve now, but we are in for an upwind slog for a couple days before we can get to some quick reaching to take us to the first ice gate. From there on it is anyone's guess.
Volvo Ocean Race