I rejoined my watch at 3am this morning and once again positions were changing all the time. The rest of the fleet bunched up again. We were back under white sails and still holding onto first by the skin of our teeth. As the dawn rose and we sailed past Portland Bill and then the friendly training waters of the solent and the Isle of Wight, we spotted Qingdao hoist their spinnaker through the dim light of morning. We followed suit quickly, just managing to hold them off but soon as the sun rose we could see an array of spinnakers – as almost all of the Clipper fleet emerged around on the horizon – some now much bigger and therefore closer than we could have liked! We hadn't led all this way to lose the lead now though so we were on with the trim and ready for battle.

By lunchtime we reached a major landmark – if not THE major landmark of our journey of the last 10 months. We crossed our outbound track by Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, just off Beachy Head, thus completing the circle and “Tying the Knot”. This was the point when those of us – the remaining 8 of us that had set off from Hull last September – could at last claim that we had indeed Sailed around the World. We marked the moment with a tot of Benromach Whiskey each – from a bottle donated by one of the fleet sponsors, and cake made by Albert's mum. It was pretty emotional – well it was for me anyway, as the enormity of the achievement sank-in, and I thought about the incredible experiences and huge challenges we had faced over the past months. Mainly though I was very grateful to have shared that time with some fabulous people – a great team and some new great friends. The bond amongst the crew had undoubtedly made the trip the very special and memorable trip it had been, and this was in no small part down to our original skipper Piers. His great leadership, seamanship and patience with us all, also his determination to ensure everyone got out of the trip what they wanted to and his own sense of fun and passion for sailing, were key in making the Hull & Humber boat the huge success it is. Justin had done well with us since and has undoubtedly driven us forward as a team but we spared a thought and raised a toast to our founding skipper, who we all wished was here to celebrate along with us. If nothing else he would have loved the silly animal masks we all wore to help us celebrate! Nobody knew why we were wearing them but it was a daft thing to do and we'd certainly been nothing if not a daft crew who liked to have fun and that will certainly be one of my lasting impressions of the crew for years to come.

We marked the moment in style but swiftly – we were afterall still racing and several of the other boats having headed closer into the coast, had picked up some additional current and were now slowly creeping ahead. We watched helpless as the lead slipped out of our fingers and we realised as we rounded round the headland of Dungeness, that we had slipped back into 4th place. Finland, Australia and Cape Breton were now in front but only by 3 miles and with about 180 still to go all was not lost.

With every tenth of a mile counting I positioned myself in the nav station keping an eye on all the other yachts checking on their course and speed. I soon spotted that the yachts in front all slowed considerably – they must have hit a wind hole. We immediately changed course to try and avoid the area of light wind and start to regain the lost distance between us. It appeared to work for a while but we still got caught in some of the same area and most of the ground we made up we lost again as we slowed and the other boats sailed out the other side and into more wind. Still we had made back some of the distance and at this stage every little counted. I eventually forced myself to bed for an hour and half before the start of our next watch. It was hard to sleep now but with another 18 hours or so of racing still to go, we'd need to be on the ball for every minute of our on-watch time.