far, to our knowledge, only Limited Intelligence (a fours boat from Cheltenham)
has required the assistance of the support yachts. One of the rowers wanted to
be taken off the boat for personal reasons and the boat is now disqualified from
the race and is continuing to Antigua with 3 rowers.
normal, there are two support yachts on the water. Their role is to follow the
fleet and be in a position to provide assistance, but only if it's needed. Apart
from the incredible morale boost rowers will get when they see a sail on the
horizon, a short chat is normally (and hopefully)
the extent of our contact
with the support crew.
year the race organisers have adopted a slightly different strategy for the
support yacht function. Previously, support came in the form of two cruising
yachts each crewed by 3 people. One headed off with the race leaders, while the
other stayed with the back markers. This year, two radically different boats
have set sail.
The first support yacht is Aurora, one of the 67' Global
Challenge yachts, owned and skippered by Stuart Jackson of Ocean Experience and
designed to sleep 14 people with ease. Sailed by a crew of four, the boat is
built like a tank, and will withstand pretty much anything the ocean can throw
The second boat is an Open 60 called Ocean Planet. Built
originally for solo sailor Bruce Schwab, this boat is crewed by three and
skippered by former ocean rower Pete Hogden who has performed the support yacht
role several times. Ocean Planet is designed to get round the world the ‘right
way' and as fast as possible, and the aim is for this boat to be the 'fast
response' vessel, able to get to any potential incident in the shortest possible
time. Should any more rowers find themselves being
rescued by Ocean Planet,
they would be repatriated to Aurora to continue their journey in a more
comfortable environment. Ocean Planet is a serious bit of kit – the equivalent
of a Formula 1 racing car coming to rescue you.
rowers, we have no idea where either support vessel is (they don’t even appear
on the dots that you’re all probably watching) and we have no way of contacting
them directly. If we need any help then we have to contact the 24 hour duty race
officer phone and they coordinate the best solution according to our
28 – this time a month ago we were lining up on the start line in La
No change – more eating, more sleeping, more talking and more playing
games. We haven’t rowed since 11:30 on Wednesday 27th.
Nope, still not heard or seen any.
update from the last couple of days…………………
me out of here...............
went for another little dip in the ocean yesterday and gave the hull another
clean. Rich was on lifeguard duty and Mr Muscle got rid of the barnacles. It
wasn’t anywhere as bad as the other day but it is now much easier to manage if
we do it every 5 or 6 days. This time I was joined by a real selection of fish
which made me slightly nervous as I thought they could draw attention to bigger
predators but thankfully nothing to report. Rich took some great underwater
photos of me in the water.
night we watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I think it is quite possibly one
of the most overrated and worst films I’ve ever fallen asleep to. I made it
until about 2 hours and Rich watched the last hour on his own. However, we did
watch a cracker yesterday morning - a very clever film. Have a watch of “The
Lucky Number Sleven”. It reminded me of Shawshank as I would never have guessed
still in the lead and I think Rich is struggling without the 50/50, phone a
friend or ask the fish option!
p*ssing me off:
World Sport Camera broken
have very kindly loaned us a very good pencil camera to record footage of our
crossing. It had been working all the time we were in La Gomera and for the
first week or so at sea and now it isn’t. We’ve been in contact with the
manufacturers back in the UK and awaiting final instructions but we’ve tried
pretty much everything. We’ll both be gutted if we can’t get this working.
Satellite Phone Antenna playing up
have a phone Antenna fixed to our cabin roof which is designed to give greater
phone signal and strength and it has been working brilliantly up until now.
Yesterday, we were trying to link the sat phone to the laptop to send off some
emails and we couldn’t get a signal. We then had no luck when just trying to
call home. We disconnected the sat phone from the fixed antenna and used one of
the removable antennas and managed to get a signal. Laura and all my family were
at mums last night and it took me an hour to get through – very
worst of all is that I’ve been growing my beard since we left La Gomera and I’ve
now found a few stray ginger hairs. Rich must have been malting or I’ve been
cursed by Katie N, Red Love & Lindsay.
– more than anything just to get some structure back in our
40 degrees West - which is our next waypoint. We’re currently at 31 degrees
west and each full degree is 60 miles so we’ve 540 miles to
beating Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday. If the race had started on the
6th December, our original aim was to be in Antigua to watch this
match. As it turns out we’re 1750 miles from Antigua
of the day goes to Andy Downie and I’ve picked out my favourite 5 from the long
Why is it that
people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?
deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
Why do they use
sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
Why do Kamikaze pilots wear
Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?
personal messages from me………….
Congrats on your recent engagement, really pleased for you both. Your
brother does a cracking best man speech if you want him to ruin another
You may have noticed some plagiarism……..I borrowed some of your words
from the Yacht Pals articles about the support yachts. I hope you don’t mind.
Geoff & Shirley
Thanks for the quotes and I’d never heard the Johnson one
Yes, well done a very original name to enter on the Iridium website.
Perhaps try and work on your jokes as well as your name!
row must go on – Antigua here we come.