Emails at sea
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has emailed Mike Golding to congratulate him on his rescue of Alex Thomson. “Well done Mike. A nice and tidy, professional operation. There is no higher praise. Can’t get through on Iridium to chat as you are always busy, understandably”
“It is an axiom in these races that the nearest assistance will most likely come from another competitor, and, apart from some excellent exceptions by the Royal Australian Navy it usually has. The reason is that there is so little commercial shipping using the Southern Ocean so there are not the large Merchant Ships there to assist. But in any case, this mutual support amongst single handers goes with the general ethos of self-sufficiency.
“Pressing on, had both the genneker and the spinnaker up yesterday until it all became too much for the spinnaker and we broached at a happy 17 knots. Got it down after a tussle of some 40 minutes and decided I’d go for safety in view of the dark clouds around and set the jib. I’m glad I did as there was another auto pilot failure later and if I’d had anything less controllable set we could have been knocked flat. I think I am going to have to accept a change to my work/sleep pattern. I really cannot afford to have the steering go when I have big sails set unless I am on watch. When I need to sleep I shall need to cut down the sail area so that if it takes me time to respond to the alarm at least the damage will be limited. It will mean slowing down, which is a right B—-d, but the alternative is diversion to Cape Town and that would lose even more time. “