2002 – 2003

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Ocean Planet in the Around Alone – Update
Monday, February 10, 2003 2300gmt


What an exciting farewell from Tauranga and the start of Leg 4! There was an amazing turnout on the docks, complete with Maori warriors doing the fearsome “Haka” dance, and a huge flotilla of boats out to view the start. We had a moderate reach for the first few miles and since then it has been all over the place and really light last night. It has been pretty much hand-to-hand combat so far with Bernard, Thierry, and Graham, with Simone not far behind. In the light air drifting, we kept taking turns passing each other all night. This morning was stunning, with sunshine, dolphins, and the four of us Open 60s within a mile of each other, quite a sight.

To all of my shore crew, friends, and volunteers who worked like maniacs the last couple days (the last few weeks actually) to get Ocean Planet ready, I can’t thank you enough. I also want to give some kudos to the great boatbuilders, repair crews, the boat yard, etc, in Tauranga. All the beer in New Zealand should be yours….:-)

I head out across the Southern Pacific with a mixture of fear and excitement. I have very little desire to see icebergs (at least not from a racing sailboat!) however, right now there is an iceberg more than ten miles long directly NORTH of the Falkland Islands, which means there are more likely a lot of smaller ones around Cape Horn and on the way there. This is definitely the most challenging trip of my sailing life so far, or life in general for that matter.

This photo was taken two hours after the start…



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