Race 11 Day 4, Wed June 9th 

Having been allowed to sleep instead of getting up for watch at 3am I woke up this morning around 6ish with my left hand in absolute agony. I can only assume that the standing over a sewing machine at a jaunty angel for about 4 hours, followed no doubt by sleeping awkwardly had pinched some nerves and/or stopped some blood flow to my hand. I couldn't move my fingers which were hot and had a bad case of pins and needles – no doubt some sewing ailment!!! I was in such pain I think if someone had present me with a hacksaw I would have tried to have amputated it then and there!  As it was there was no hacksaw or carving knife readily available so I shuffled around in my bunk moaning and groaning until I finally fell asleep again.
I woke later to find I was still alive and my need for amputation had subsided although a couple of fingers still were pretty sore. By the time I was up and moving my circulation started working again and my focus turned towards breakfast, tea and our race position in that order!

We had put another mile between us and Finland who were now 11 miles behind us with Spirit of Australia 13 miles behind. With 230 miles to go it is still uncomfortably close. There is also a high pressure in front of us which means the fleet could easily bunch right up again and it could be anyone's race.

Our main watch this afternoon has just whizzed by.  The winds have been light, then good and then squally which means we've been through all hoisting and dropping all 3 spinnakers in a few hours. I got hit on the head by the clew of one as it flopped through the boom when we were dropping it. I now have a not so attractive egg-sized bump on my forehead, which is nicely turning black and blue already! But that's the least of my worries. The really bad news is that Team Finland have been on the horizon all afternoon and didn't get hit by the squalls in the same way we did. They have now closed the gap to just 6 ½ miles behind us and we can also see 3 other boats closing in on us on the horizon. The wind is completely flukey; one minute it’s light and the next the sails feel over-powered.  The repaired mid-weight has been flying for the last couple of hours. Charlie and I looked proudly on as she flew and the repair looked like it was holding.  We got congratulations on the job from everyone and Justin even awarded me a quarter of a packet (that was all that was left) of his private stash of chocolate Hob-nobs!!

We're all been incredibly nervous all day. We now have about 160 miles to go to the finish line and are holding onto the lead by the skin of our teeth. This time tomorrow – as long as we don't hit a big wind-hole, it will all be over. But will we have got our first yellow pennant?  We want to win SO badly and are doing everything we can to stay out in front. As I type this the wind just picked up and the boat was heeled right over. The kite also felt over-powered. It's just been dropped through the companion way because the wind shifted and we couldn't hold our course but as Justin has just declared – it was tested and it held up so job well done!

We've just repacked it and the other watch has re-hoisted. Finland are now only 4.6 miles behind us and closing all the time. The Aussies are just under 8 miles behind us. It's agonising. We can't seem to match the speed of the other two boats no matter what we do.  We are pulling out all the stops to try and hold on for the next 15 hours. I'm off to bed now for a couple of hours before night watch. Somehow I don’t think any of us are going to get much sleep until we cross that finish line tomorrow!