Bianca reports on leg six: VOR 2017/2018

WHERE IN THE WORLD: Hong Kong to Auckland

Everything just seemed to work like clockwork and we proved not only to our competitors but to ourselves that we are very much in this race. The intensity level throughout the leg was always high and we managed to sail a better leg over taking the boats at the top of the leader board early on.

 Image Credit: James Blake

Image Credit: James Blake

 Image Credit: James Blake

Image Credit: James Blake

There was a lot of light breeze sailing on this leg but our equator crossing was the fastest crossing I’ve ever experienced.

 Image Credit: James Blake

Image Credit: James Blake

 Image Credit: James Blake

Image Credit: James Blake

 Catching sleep where you can. Image Credit: James Blake

Catching sleep where you can. Image Credit: James Blake

As we approached New Zealand however the breeze changed rapidly from sea breeze to land breeze and as the sun rose on our beautiful country the real battle began down the coast in light winds trying to catch Akzonoble and Skallywag. Our hearts dropped when we saw the two red boats on the horizon behind who had come through with breeze. We had fought a hard battle trying to hold out the red boats only to have them just pass as we entered the Hauraki Gulf.

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Our arrival into Auckland was bittersweet. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and there were so many spectator boats out to welcome in the fleet, by this stage the breeze had increased to mid 20’s. Dee passed over the helm to me as we sailed the last stretch up the Waitematā Harbour, an extremely overwhelming moment and to have such a close finish with five boats of the fleet all finishing within half an hour of each other was a moment in history for the race here in Auckland.

 Image Credit: Beau Outteridge

Image Credit: Beau Outteridge

There’s no denying how devastated as a crew we were to have finished in 5th place where we thought a podium finish was in the grasp of our hands, but the position does not reflect the leg we had. Thank you New Zealand for the warm welcome, this leg was our best leg yet and next is the mighty Southern Ocean.”

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