Race 12 - Day 5, Wed June 23rd  

I've just come off night watch which on one hand was a success as we kept up some great speeds with the spinnaker all night and are now officially back at the front of the fleet chasing Cork.  We're now only 137 miles behind Cork but we are still only 2 miles in front of Jamaica and 6 in front of California and Spirit of Australia.  The fleet has split into 2 packs – which has so often been the case. Most of the fleet are following us and we seem to be taking the route that Cork went ahead of us. However Jamaica, Team Finland and Singapore have all stayed much further south. Only time will tell which route proves to be the fastest.

So while we are doing well in the race we are not doing so well on the boat. The fog is now intermittent which also means the temperature has warmed up by a degree or too but we have had pretty constant rain for the last 20 hours or so. We are absolutely soaked through to the skin and are trying to remember what the enjoyable bit of sailing is!!!  It's really not the sport at its best but I guess you take the rough with the smooth. I keep hanging onto to the memory of some spectacular days of sailing that I've had over the last 9 months.

Meanwhile half the crew are coming down with colds so we are all popping multi-vitamin tablets like they are going out of fashion and tucking up in our warm sleeping bags for as long as we can when off-watch!

By the time we got on deck this afternoon we'd swapped the spinnaker out for a poled-out headsail. We are still getting great speed and it's easier to handle in the waves that we are now having to deal with. Brett who really detests the light wind sailing is as happy as a pig in sh*t. He loves the big winds and stormy conditions so was glued to the helm for over 2 hours – we couldn't get him off! It's the happiest we've seen him in ages!  The rest of us took a deep breath and stepped up to our turn on the helm with more than a little trepidation.  However, I've come to realise during this race that it always seems worse when you're watching and once you have hold of the wheel and have had a few minutes to settle into the pattern of wind and waves it's never as terrifying as you think!

A little speed competition ensued between our watch.  We went from 14.3 knots top speed to 15.9 by Charlie. There was no way Brett was going to be beaten by that and by the end of the day had notched up an impressive 17.9 knots! Needless to say he made sure everyone knew – several times!