White Ocean Racing

May 27.

Yannick Bestaven, Arnaud Boissiéres and Dee Caffari finish.

Yannick Bestaven (Cervin EnR) finished at 3:31AM followed by Arnaud Boissiéres (Akena Vérandas) at 5AM. Dee Caffari (Aviva) arrived at 3:05PM.

Steve's blog Number 15. - The end is near!

As I sit here at the chart table holding on with anything I have that is capable of holding on we are once again, pounding upwind in 26 to 30 knots. It is strange this time, however, this is the last blog, today is my last day at sea for a bit, and it all feels quite odd. I can't credit the fact that I will be tied up tonight after all the work and effort everyone put in it is over in a flash or that's how it feels.

I was nearly out here longer than anticipated, as I looked out of the window whilst downloading some weather, I saw a lobster pot buoy about four feet across and an additional danbouy with a radar reflector on top attached to it - we had missed them by about 15 feet! The keels on these boats are specially shaped to allow you to catch any lines, nets or similar in the water, and a pot buoy that size round the keel would stop you - even at 11.5 knots. The small ones in the UK usually give you a whizzing sound as the rope runs around the keel, and then "bump, bump" down the side of the boat and you're off again. This one would have to be cut I expect - not good. Anyway, who fishes for lobster out here - 150 miles from land in 200 odd metres of water - the lobster would get the bends on the way up from that depth and then die of old age during the boat trip in!

I don't have that much else to report today, but I do want to say a couple of "thankyous" - firstly to the boat. It may not be new, but we have had some really great sailing, everything has worked and I haven't opened the toolbox once - testament to the way the boat was originally built and to Josh, Mark and Jason my eldest son for getting it ready in double quick time. (New sails and rigging for the Vendee Required though I think, they were a bit of a worry at times!)

Finally I need to thank my wife Kim, without whom any of this would be either possible or worthwhile. It is rare indeed to find someone who is selflless enough to put their own dreams on hold and support someone else's, and this project and I have made her life very very hard at times. I am fortunate and thankful indeed to be married to her, and love her from the bottom of my heart (even though she drives me mad sometimes!)

I may see some of you who have been reading this in Boston for a beer, everyone else, come and say hello if you see the boat around and about back in the UK- the kettle's always on.

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