Arrived in Rio to join leg 2 a few days before crew changeover day. People keep asking me if I am looking forward to the leg, which I feel I should be, but too many worries about how I will cope on the boat to say ‘looking forward’ to it. That strange nervous feeling of being about to take an exam and not feeling have prepared enough. Anyway here I am in Rio and to calm the nerves make straight for the bars of the Lapa district with friends from One DLL late at night. Regretted it immensely the next morning but was fun.
Anticipation of boat arriving is lifting spirits and so excitingly close over last few miles. Following race every hour on Yellowbrick. Boats due to arrive early morning…then winds change and the interminable leg one becomes even longer. Get down to Marina da Gloria (not very glorious really) to see arrivals hoping for podium finish but just beaten in last few miles by PSP and Jamaica. Meet lots of friends and relatives from different yachts and great team spirit and excitement all round but also great disappointment for some families who have been here for days and may have to return home before seeing their loved ones arrive.
2pm and hear that Qingdao finishing so run up with other friends and family followers to headland and can just see Qingdao as a distant speck crossing the finish line. Shortly after, they arrive at pontoon to great applause and welcome beers. Slight disappointment on their faces but great to see them finish third although know Henri Lloyd pushing hard and have redress. Unlike Jamaica and PSP crew, who have been drinking profusely at bar , Gareth gets Qingdao crew to drink their welcome beer and then clean the boat….becoming aware of the type of thorough skipper Gareth is! Poor Lawrence is straight to work at the victualling.
Finally finish clean and then off to crew house with exhausted but happy crew.