Update from South Atlantic – Shona Milne

Here we are in the middle of South Atlantic – 1800 miles from South America and 1800 miles from South Africa. We have not seen single ship, plane or human except for crew on board and on our competitor yacht Jamaica in the distance.

We’ve been on the same tack for a week so feeling very lopsided walking on 40 degrees angle permanently. I havent washed for a week..fortunately no mirrors so I cant see myself….must be terrible…and heaven knows what we all smell like. In same clothes too…it’s too difficult to change. Life revolves aroung 4 hourly watches, bunk and food…. endless sail trimming and sail changes but no tacking or gybbing. We had spiinaker up today and had great fun trimmming it to increase speed by few decimals of a knot…it all counts.

We are currently lying in last position in race but skipper thinks we have made right tactic by sailing north in lighter winds to catch south of high moving north after Tristan de Cahuna. We bagged 2 points from racing gate already, Have total faith in our skipper and crew are great.all bonding well.

Had my birthday on deck and Jonathan baked choc brownies to die for…best have ever tasted…a celeb to
remember. Gorgeous day today and plenty of time for reflection on life looking at vastnesss of ocean this must be one of the few places on earth you can be and be so far from any human contact. We had wonderful moment when surrounded by pod of dolphins swimming along with the yacht this morning.

Early days traumas of seasickness and high winds etc now forgotten as we head for Cape Town….the race matters but this is all about surviving each day and the trials of life at 40 degrees on stripped down yacht.
Off to sleep now at 1400 hours…must put cream on my cracked bottom first…very painful.

Lots of love Shona

Waiting Game – Shona Milne

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.Image

The Doldrums – Richard Evans Leg 1 crew

We’re not even there yet and have come to a grinding halt! Temp inside boat is 38 degrees and as humid as hell, can’t do anything without breaking into a sweat. The only wind comes from squalls that come cross the ocean, during one I decided to have a rain shower under the main sail, OK, I admit playing to the crowd a bit in that I got all lathered up, and then just as soon as it had started someone turned the rain off …to the huge amusement of all on board. Still, a couple of hours later a huge squall came over and I got well rinsed. All well

Love, your grain of sand xx

You can read more about Richards experience and his goal of raising funds for prostate cancer research at his blog  http://ricardoracestorio.com/my-race-to-rio/

Race 1 Day 3 & 4

Day 3

Gareth Glover – Qingdao

There have been light winds overnight as we begin to cross the English Channel, and the strong tide has caused Qingdao many of the same problems as the

rest of the fleet.  Qingdao has been working hard as a team, and the mothers have been taking very good care of us. Motivation is high and everyone is looking forward to seeing how the tightly packed fleet will perform over the next few days.


Day 4

After an eventful 24 hours racing in fog and light winds across the English Channel we made up for lost time and started to gain back on the fleet.

The plan was to head south towards the Channel Islandsleaving them to our port passing between Guernsey and Sark to our east and then headed across the top ofFrance. Just before we were committed to the course we got an email about the shorten course

so we quickly gybe to pass over the top of Guernsey under Light Weight Kite in around 5 Knots of wind.

We then sailed underneath the rest of the fleet which were still heading west at the time as we sailed under them to the south. GREAT Britain must have seen us on AIS (Automatic Identification System) passing under them and decided to gybe to cover us from the north which resulted in a match race for the last 2 hours of racing. We could hear their fog horn only metres away from us but the fog made it hard to see them and cover them.

At one point GREAT Britain were that close we only saw the front of their yacht pass metres behind us.

In the end we think GREAT Britain may have won by only metres but the crew of Qingdao will be looking to make that up in Race 2 to Rio de Janeiro.


 4th Sept

The fleet ceased racing today at 1500 UTC following a decision to shorten the course due to prevailing conditions.

This will enable yachts to reach Brest tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon local time.

Race Director Justin Taylor explained: “At 1200 UTC today I emailed the fleet with instructions on shortening the course.  This is because the forecast for the next 24hours is for very light winds.  This coupled with the fact that the majority of the fleet are in an area known as the Alderney Race which is subject to very strong tides. This means that they would be left with the prospect

of anchoring to stop them losing ground.”

At 1500 UTC (1700 local) the yachts ceased racing and are in the process of emailing their positions to the Race Office.  The Race Director will use these positions to calculate the rhumb line distance to Creac’h Lighthouse on Ushant.  The yacht with the shortest distance to this lighthouse will be provisionally awarded 1st place until the position can be verified using a photograph that the skippers take of the time and their position.

This position to the lighthouse may vary slightly from the places shown to Brest on the Race Viewer. This

story will be updated with the results as soon as they are verified.

Justin Taylor added: “Once they have ceased racing they will make best possible speed to Brest by motor-sailing.  I anticipate the first arrivals tomorrow at 1200 UTC or 1400 local time.”

Provisional finishing positions to follow.