Race 10 Day 5, Fri May 28th

Having wallowed in frustrating light airs for the first half of last night, by the time we came back up on deck for the 3 – 7am watch, the wind had picked up and we were zipping along at 9 & 10 knots under the medium weight kite.  Over the last 24 hours we've lost a bit of ground to the leading pack but we are now hopeful our “Drive it Like We Stole it” policy of helming, will pay off and we'll be able to play catch up. The wind has been pushing us away from the direction we want to go in but towards the end of watch we get some nice lift which I make the most of. I get some stick for pushing the boat so hard the spinnaker occasionally gets a 'little wash' in the sea. It IS a fine line between racing hard and pushing so hard we broach but we were never in any danger of that and I answer with “Do you want to win or not?”!!

The air is starting to cool – more noticeably at night and by our final watch we were all wearing light-weight jackets. The sun by 7am was scorching again and it'll be another bikini and shorts day. Life on board is tough!

A 'gossip' of magazines (surely the right collective noun?) litters the saloon, brought over with the new leggers. Leafing through the most trashy ones is a reminder of the perils of the real world. It's almost compulsive to browse through them now though – a weird way of preparing ourselves for returning to our homes, jobs or job searching for some, and the media circus that has become 'the norm' of standard living. While I sit and type this Brett is browsing and chirps up with “Well, we're not missing much on TV”!  I think we all knew that anyway but I did spot that the new Sex and the City Film is out in the cinemas and I do miss going to the pictures.  That may well be one for New York!  I'm also looking forward to cooking food I like most in my kitchen, popping next door to sip a glass of wine with Maria my next door neighbour and being able to hang my clothes up – even though they quite often end up in a pile on the floor at the end of the day!  Maybe I won't do that anymore. Maybe one of the many, many lessons I've learned about life on this amazing voyage of discovery and self-discovery, is that I'll appreciate being able to hang my clothes up and therefore always do so in the future. I think I know, deep down, that is never going to happen! But I like the fact that this trip hasn't numbed my optimism!

During the afternoon we see a couple of sails on the horizon and are cheered by the fact we must be gaining on the leaders. It's less than 150 miles to go to the scoring gate now and holding a steady 5th place is not going to get us any points. Disappointing the sails disappear over the next few hours. It seems no matter what we try, what sail plan we use and how often we check trim, we can't seem to close the gap. Without giving up we realistically set our sights on another podium position and mentally write off the scoring gate. We'll go through it anyway as it's on the way to the finish line. We just need to stay motivated enough to keep pushing. For some, even if a podium finish isn't enough of a pull, New York and a hot bath or shower is a great incentive. I still want to win as much as when we started but the promise of a night out at the cinema is a little extra kick up the backside!