LAT 26 39.8N
LONG 122 59.0E
ETA 0800z 22 feb 12
WEATHER WIND 045@20kts, Sea State 5@1m, Swell NE3m, Cloud 7/8 Cl, Baro 1028
Its been a memorable 24 hours for Gold Coast Australia after the drama packed day following Tim Burgess snapped his leg in two places while changing sails on the foredeck yesterday morning.
After numerous helicopter and launch evacuation attempts were made and failed I made the call to proceed to Chi-Lung which
is a large industrial port in the north east of Taiwan. Nick Woodward was also evacuated following a nasty fall where he
was thrown across the fwd accommodation area and crashed his head yesterday. Nick went in for a CT scan yesterday evening
and go the all clear, while Tim Burgess went in for surgery last night at the first available opportunity after x-ray’s revealed he had snapped his leg in two places!
Once the personnel were evacuated off the boat we were hoping to continue racing straight away however our attempts to leave
the port were hampered by local authorities and media who though we may like to stay the night and escorted us into harbour.
Not knowing the reasons for being told to go alongside I refused to pass my lines to the dock and asked to speak to the
harbour master and immigration officials. In the end it turns out that they were trying to be friendly and even offered us
some soup but after explaining that we were still racing they gave us their best wishes and allowed us to depart their harbour.
Once outside the traffic separation scheme and at the harbour limits we hoisted our sails and continued racing, entering the
race in 4th position. Unfortunately to gain the best out of the current we had to sacrifice a winning tack and headed east
to get into the current stream costing us one place to Visit Finland. Ever since we have been hot on Finland’s heals and
have had them in sight for the past 12 hours. It will be interesting to see where we stand once Geraldton and Singapore
come out of Stelth Mode and if there is any hope of catching them before the finish in Qingdao.
Unfortunately the remainder of the race is fairly straight foward and dictated by waypoints so we can not go chasing wind or
make use of back eddies along the shore (though it is China so probably not a good idea). The remainder of the race is a
drag race, so we will need to stay on the ball, sail straight and trim for speed if we want to win some places back!
We are now further north than the latitude than when Tims incident occurred and we are sailing into the East China Sea.
Conditions have started to get a lot colder over the past 12 hours as we loose the northerly flowing tropical currents and
they are replaced by the cold currents and winds streaming down from the yellow sea. Yesterday people were still wearing
shorts and t-shirts (well I was) and today the thermals have come out, and for many people on board, mid layers are also
being worn for the first time since the southern ocean. Over the next three days before the finish conditions are set to
get bitterly cold, with sub-zero temperatures forecasted in Qingdao on our arrival.