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Date: 14 Dec 2009 18:09:25
Title: Back in the UK...............

Yep, Rich & I are now back in the UK and I'm sat in my living room writing this blog!
 
If the race had started on the 6th December then we would be 8 days and a couple of hundred miles into the crossing. However, if we had started then we would have encountered some horrific and unfavourable conditions - high seas and 30kt plus winds blowing us backwards so although we're frustrated not to be at sea we're pleased we're on dry land.
 
After just over 3 weeks in La Gomera we decided to head home and be on stand by in the UK. Woodvale (the Race organisers) announced yesterday that the earliest weather window that the long range forecasts are showing the fleet can safely leave La Gomera would be Tuesday 22nd December. When Rich and I got this news we decided to fly home that evening and we we're really pleased to be greeted by our girlfriends at Gatwick last night - a sight we didn't think we'd see until Antigua. However, in the next 24/48 hours we are expecting an announcement to confirm whether the race start will be delayed to between Christmas & New Year so teams can be at home for Christmas which will be an unexpected surprise. However, I hope that I don't have to buy Christmas presents for anyone now!
 
Normally, the weather doesn't cause the race start to be delayed and since the inaugural race in 1997 only one race (2005) has been delayed and that was only by 1 day - never this long! The main reason the race is held between December/January and February is that it's outside of the North Atlantic hurricane season which is between May to October and regarded as the safest time. Untypically, this late on in 2009 we're still having hurricane conditions and until they pass Woodvale and the Spanish Authorities won't give the fleet the port clearances to start the race. Red Arrow has been left safely in La Gomera harbour and is ready to race!
 
Rich and I will be using the time at home to freshen up, get back on the rowing machine, re-check all our navigation, general planning, tweaking our playlists, adding films to our laptop and spending time with friends and family. 
 
Thanks for all your support.
Tom
 
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