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30 January 2002, 01:34 pm
Sunfish or Shark?
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Volvo Ocean Race

<I>I can't remember the quote exactly but it goes something like 'below forty there is no mercy, and below 50 there is no God'.</I>

If I have it wrong I am sure someone out there will correct me, but either way it is definitely not holding true right now.

Sailing at night with a very bright and clear sky in comfortable temperatures and a perfectly flat sea is hardly what we expect on this leg, but none of us are that easily fooled. We are all very aware that in a day or two from now, we will be pushing south across the 50 degree line and further on into the strong westerly gales and much colder sea and air temperatures.

The racing, as I am sure everyone is fed up with hearing, is very close and position reports mean very little, as we have constant visual or radar contact with most of the boats and the leader board has little relevance with so many miles to go and such a small distance separating the boats.

A little drama on board last night as we found ourselves yet again with something hooked up on the rudder. We have a custom made curved weed stick which we can use from on board to clear weed and small bags etc without stopping, but it doesn't work so well with sharks .. it was dark and hard to see but there was a sizeable sunfish or shark around the rudder, which forced us to drop the chute and 'back down' to clear it. Apart from that one incident there is very little else to report in conditions that we would expect to encounter on the first leg.

No complaints though and I am sure that we will have more than our fair share of excitement in the weeks to come, to make up for any monotony now. Here's to one more really good sleep before the fun begins.

Reads an email from Steve Hayles on board Tyco.

Steve Hayles/News Editor
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