Thursday 26 June. Land back in England.
Monday 30 June. Back to work.
A full week in the office after six months away? Someone didn’t plan that too well!
Back to normality? Well, no, it didn’t feel that way. I felt a bit sort of in limbo I suppose.
While I’d left Henri Lloyd in New York and went travelling, they had raced back across the Atlantic and were in Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
While I was spending the next couple of weeks in a job where nothing except for me seemed to have changed, the Clipper race was continuing around the northern tip of Scotland to den Helder in the Netherlands.
Position-wise the race to Derry-Londonderry had not gone too well for Henri Lloyd. We finished in the middle of the fleet. It was won by the home boat for that race, much to their delight. However victory in the overall race was still within our grasp, though by no means assured at that point. Eric hoped that by den Helder it would be.
Well, they worked really hard, rounded the tip of Scotland first and held onto that lead all the way to den Helder, winning that race and ensuring that no matter what happened in the final hop across to London that the overall race was theirs. Barring a disaster of course.
That last race was subject to the by now usual tinkering by Clipper with the route and schedule. The fleet experienced much higher winds than forecast meaning that they would have arrived at Southend far too early for the fixed ceremonial Race Finish into London on the 12 July. So instead of a direct route from den Helder to Southend the fleet travelled back and forth along the east coast of England for a few hours. GB won that race with Henri Lloyd second.
Meanwhile those of us who were not taking part in this last leg received an email from Clipper stating that IF we wanted to be on the podium with our team-mates we needed to submit our names on a first come first served basis. What is this “if”? Of course we did. The podium wouldn’t be big enough for all crewmembers? Get a bigger podium!
The next post will be about the Race Finish on 12 July.
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