Blogs from the Sea – The Final Countdown

We are going home!  It has been an epic odyssey around the world and now as we set sail on the final ocean crossing home and our third across the Atlantic, it feels good to be homeward bound.

Cape Breton Island gave us a fabulous farewell with brunch at the yacht club and an escorted parade down to the marina.  As we manned our boats, there was still not much hint of a good breeze in the air, which in itself is unusual for the region, so we were unsure what kind of a race start awaited us.

As it transpired the wind built steadily and we were treated to an exciting downwind tussle as spinnaker poles were hoisted and kites popped open in quick succession around us and we all headed down the narrow channel, each eager to gain an advantage and get a nose in front.

On Edinburgh, the Cape Breton stop over became one relentless sail repair mission.  Having incurred serious damage upon our middle weight kite en route from New York where upon damage described as “serious though not critical” was unachievable onboard, the sail repair team set to work immediately upon arrival and completed the mammoth task the day before departure!  While the kite repairers busied themselves day in, day out with a guiding eye from Ken at Hyde Sails, Ontario, the white sails team found themselves with a nasty surprise mid week when the mainsail incurred a serious tear through the luff at one of the cringle points on the corporate sail.  A fair sign that we are nearing the end of the 35,000nm circumnavigation and a testament to how much we have put our canvas and equipment through!

As we crossed the start line and the Middleweight popped open, there was a hint of tension in the air, wondering if indeed all our hard work had done the job.  I have to say she looked fantastic and the repair almost seamless as some of the crew remarked they could not actually identify the patch that ran from leach line to leach line right across the head and from head to clew alongside the port leach line.  It was a proud moment!

The fleet is still tightly packed as we continue upwind in what has become a bit of a drag race.  Focus is high onboard as our motivations for success are coupled with those for a fast passage home.  As the disparity between crews lessens the excitement in racing terms increases.  Everyone will be digging deep on these last races and Edinburgh is no exception.

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