appy New Year to all! We start Leg 4 in about 24 hours and all the final preparations are just about complete.
With a big effort by our shore team over Christmas, EF Language
was the first boat back sailing after the usual work period by
all boats. On Monday, December 29, we checked our new sails that
had to be measured in on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tuesday, we raced the Sun Cup, which is a Match Race put on by Sun
Microsystems. It was a hotly contested race on Sydney Harbour
between EF Language and the girls of EF Education. The girls won
the start and led the first part of the windward leg. The boys
just managed to get into the lead at the windward mark and from
there to the finish it was neck and neck. The boys managed to
regain the lead just before the finish to win by 28 seconds. It
was a classically beautiful day on the Harbour and a great day was
had by all.
Wednesday, New Year's Eve, was the day to load all the sails and
equipment, Thursday was a day off for the crew. Friday we went
for our "dress rehearsal" sail. We do this before each leg. My
friend Iain Murray came out with us and we did the first three
miles of Leg 4 three times. Iain grew up sailing skiffs on Sydney
Harbour and was a great help in educating us on the local winds
and currents. Unfortunately the forecasted winds are not those
that we practiced in on Friday.
Last night was the prize giving, which was especially nice for us,
being our second win in three legs. The prize givings are
augmented by video and music from the preceding leg. I went home
with my kids at 2200 and left my wife to party a bit longer. She
ended up with some professionals and is not feeling too well
Today, Saturday, we had our daily weather brief (1.5 hours) and an
EFL crew meeting. Afterwards, I had a few media tasks, a re-read
of all the rules and regulations, and a little nap in the afternoon.
The forecast for Leg 4 is light and variable winds for the first
36 hours, primarily from the southeast, as a trough of low
pressure has moved into the area and might stagnate over us.
Longer term, a cold front should move in over us late on Monday
and bring winds up to 30 knots from the south-southwest.
This should make for a slightly faster than average trip across
the Tasman Sea possible arrival, Friday afternoon.
On the last leg I wrote to you that Roy Heiner of BrunelSunergy
had erroneously sent a mail addressed to his shore manager, EF
Language. I told you in a Daily Report that we had a little fun
with Roy by responding to him as if we were Simon. Roy confided
to me that for three days they believed our reply had actually
come from "Simon". I have gotten Roy's blessing to share the two
messages with you. You may find them amusing.
I hope you are getting ready for an exciting week. It will be
fast and tight. Stay tuned.