Today was crew change over day. Those joining leg 2 hand over their passports and those departing absolve themselves from any further clipper duties. I guess it’s another key milestone in the adventure as after today I’m committed to the boat for fifteen-thousand miles or so.
What a day it’s been. To firmly establish ourselves as tourists Sam and I caught the funicular to see the Corcovado (statue of Christ). What a stunning view. Sugar loaf, Marina de Gloria, and the city of Rio.
Once the admin was out of the way Sam and I regrouped with our respective crews. For me this meant a trip to Copacobana to watch the rugby on a big screen. The white sand and a dip in the ocean in my undies with Johan, Kyro and Charles made for a pleasant distraction from the result. One less thing to miss on the boat.
Back to race village (a glorified tent) for the official welcome. Never mind the formalities, we were told a wonderful story.
Remember Lmax? That’s the boat that finished leg 1 first and then ran aground a few days ago. Well they’re still beached on a live army firing range with government and military red tape delaying the rescue.
On a daily basis Clipper boats have been making the 40 mile journey to offer support and provide supplies. Last night it was the turn of Qingdao and skipper Igor, the boat that finished 2nd to Lmax.
Please don’t laugh at this next bit. You really mustn’t.
Qingdao suffered a prop wrap (a line caught around the propellor taking it out of service). They then promptly ran aground on the same beach!! At least Olivier and Sir Robin have company as they camp on the sand protecting the boats from looters.
It has been confirmed that these two boats are likely to start the race 7 days from tomorrow (3 days after everyone else) following a full hull inspection and the necessary repairs. That assumes that the rudder damage is all there is to fix. I’m not sure that the hulls and rigging will like days of sand abrasion and unnatural forces.
Their south Atlantic crossing will be timed and referenced to those in the race proper to calculate standings. As their direct competitors we’re not particularly comfortable with that but I guess if they’re coming under pressure from the two most lucrative sponsors then needs must. No point penalties either.
After chuckling our way through that we set about walking across the park of death and onto dinner. ‘We’ being a 30 strong troop of warriors lead by our SAS trained skipper and escorted by a police car! Dinner was an all you can eat meat affair.
I must try to find a comfortable position and sleep. A hard day of sailing tomorrow.