Bianca reports on leg four: VOR 2017/2018

WHERE IN THE WORLD: Break in Auckland, then Hong Kong

It was really nice to have a leg off and give my body and head some rest. I’ve come to realise this race is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I was never told it would be easy though.

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Having the leg off was planned from when I joined the team but seeing the boats leave the dock and commentate as they left the heads in Melbourne, I had this great feeling of separation and as if I had been left behind. It was definitely a frustrating leg for all those on board and it seems I missed a tough one. It was a great chance for me to take a break, step back and enjoy some time with family and friends. Dad even taught me how to drive the tractor, Mum made some delicious home meals and my sister, Paige, and I got to spend some quality time water skiing and soaking up some rays.

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The sailing here in Hong Kong has been tricky but it’s an incredible city and a fantastic backdrop. The around the island race was frustrating, and even though we didn’t have the best of starts we caught up, but unfortunately got stuck in a whole. But onwards and upwards from here, with a short stint to China before heading back here to Hong Kong to get ready to sail to the mighty Aotearoa aka New Zealand. This leg headed to Auckland is going to be a tough one much like the last leg with another doldrums crossing and islands to tactically navigate.

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I am so thrilled to be sailing home to Auckland and I cannot contain my excitement about sailing up the Waitematā Harbour amongst some incredible sailors. I may not have a kiwi flag on my kit but I’ll be flying it high and proud in my heart. I look forward to seeing you soon Auckland and thank you so much to everyone for your on going support. It truly means the world to have you all following me during this journey.

Image: James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Image: James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Image: James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Image: James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Ellie Brade