The Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team is on the homestretch: land is in sight and we can smell England. It’s been a long and tough race, though we managed to squeeze a few extra days into the voyage—extra days that maybe now seem a burden, but in a week, month, ot year, will probably seem like a privilege. I for one am hesitant to finish. I’ve gotten to know the 15 other sailors on this boat well enough that I want to stay another day, sail another race. But there’s still this race to finish, and as it now turns dark we’ll get back to it for one last push to Lizard Point, 20 nautical miles away.
We’ve had a hard go of it in the standings. The fast boats from our start and the faster boats from the June 29 start managed to beat the high-pressure ridge that we couldn’t avoid, and we parked up along with the Beau Geste for a few days. We sat for long enough to allow the slower boats we had already passed to catch up, and then, when everyone was even, the ridge lifted and moved east—as did we. The way the ratings work, we lose, but it’s made for a fun day of good company. We’re approaching the finish with five other boats in sight which after just under 3000 miles of sailing is pretty neat. We went all day with Beau Geste beside us, at one point close enough to ask for toilet paper. If this has been a long race for Vanquish, it has been an even longer one for them (15 feet longer). We wondered if they were serious!
There will be plenty of time for reflection in the coming days, but for now—it’s time to grab a quick bite to eat (“Eat Your Veggies” freeze dried pasta) and head up on deck for the last few hours of Transatlantic Race 2011 goodness. We’re all awake and planning on enjoying the remaining time on the rail. T-minus 3 hours.