The conditions over the first 3 days were benign enough to feel like an extended training session. Some of our teams had possibly been lulled into a false sense of security, but when you underestimate the ocean she has a habit of pissing on your barbecue.
The Fight for Survival
The day started with a pretty good indication of the struggles the day would bring firstly the start was delayed while some of the boats were bailed out. After this our teams worked together to get their boats past the heavy breakers. This is no easy task and before they even set sail, they were battered and bruised.
The effort involved may be why we’ve had a couple of unfortunate retirements before the day begun. Team Matlai were demoralised by the conditions having already had one team member go to hospital with a virus. It might seem like an easy 3 day sail to most, but getting up at 4.30 and sailing/ paddling until sunset is no pleasure cruise.
Joining them in the showers, Gybe Turkeys who didn’t want to continue in the heavy winds and rough swell. An understandable condition, given the rest of the day. Steve from the team was keen to continue so has joined Kiwi team, Kaea o Nga Waka. Steve’s team-mates Sarah and Rob didn’t just sit on the beach drinking margaritas though, instead choosing to help the other teams launch in the swells.
Another retirement was Three’s Company who withdrew due to a personality clash. They were strangers only a couple of weeks before starting a race that would test any friendship. Stevie has chosen to continue, jumping aboard with In Decent Sea.
Team Crazy Canuks had some difficulty early on, they got exhausted trying to launch and got swamped twice and at some point lost their shoes. They managed to borrow some but we so far behind they hired a local captain to take their boat forward to Checkpoint 5 where they hope to continue and although this is the end of their race, it isn’t the end of their adventure.
Get Galawacking have also called it a day. They managed a few miles before they got stranded on a reef, and were rescued, only to be towed back to today's starting point. On top of the physical battering from the wind and waves this was enough of a moral battering to persuade them to stay ashore.
Buena Aventura fixed a problem with their rudder, then got stuck in a fishing net, only for their yard to fall. Once all that was sorted they needed to be towed off a reef, but still kept going. Because this was an emergency tow, they’ll pick up no time penalty for it.
They insisted on sailing the whole way, having sworn to rejects tows. A team of three app developers these guys are proper hardcore adventures.
Unsalted Nuts tipped over in a squall but managed to right themselves and keep going. “Come to Africa they said; it’ll be fun they said” - Homer Unsalted Nuts
British team Out of Our Depth lost their tiller but fashioned themselves a new one out of bamboo. They remain in high spirits despite having to bail hard to keep afloat.
Team Schrodinger's Catamaran also got flooded getting out of the breakers in the morning. Race crews were on standby but they executed their self rescue calmly.
Stevie’s bad run of luck wasn’t over with her new team though. In Decent Sea hit a patch of rough weather, which left them needing a rescue too.
The Fight For the Day 4 Lead
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The strong winds paid dividends to those brave enough to push on and skilled enough to handle the conditions. The leader of this leg changed half a dozen times through the day as the boats jostled for the advantage. Here’s how the action played out on the twitter feed.
1. Krakin up 10h16 min
2. Village Monde 10h18mi
3. Jambo 10h22
4. Southern Exposure 10h49
5. Bail Bail Bail 10h58
6. Eat Ship 11h34 (check point 14B)
7. Buena Adventura 11h42
8. Three Willy's 11h45
9. Out of Our depth 11h56
10. Kont lost 12h35
11. Kaea o Nga Waka 13h20
14. Pole pole 13h20
15. HMS Thunderbush 15h02
16. Unsalted Nuts 15h02
17. Three guy's 15h24
18. Schrodinger's Catamaran (didn't make cp in time)
19. In Decent sea (didn't make cp in time)
Crazy Cannucks, Get Galawacking, Three’s company, Gybe Turkeys and Matlai have retired from the race but we may see them back for the adventure later in the race
If you’d rather participate than spectate the 2020 race is open for sign up on the Kraken website.