Clean Sweep

Well we did it, a clean sweep! It was an elated Team Henri Lloyd crossing the finish line mid-morning yesterday, with the scoring gate points, the sprint points, and first place, all under our belt.
It was strange that after such a close race, with at least one other boat in sight at all times, in the last day and night we saw nobody. During the afternoon – the day before yesterday – we were concerned that Derry had gone inshore to pick up the gulf stream, and we thought maybe they could win the whole thing. Gb and OneDLL had already disappeared, and Switzerland tacked off earlier than we did, so waiting hours between scheds was painful! But by nightfall we foud that we’d pulled far enough ahead that even Eric felt comfortable getting some proper sleep.
It was a tough night, bashing against the gulf stream – reminiscent of the Taiwan Strait – but nowhere near THAT bad! IN the morning we briefly had dolphins, gleaming in the sunrise as they leapt across our path. Meg and I saw them, but the res of the watch were pretty sure we were hallucinating, they were gone so fast. The wind built and built – in the bright blue and white morning we went to 2 reefs, and were so overpowered that we were about to drop the Yankee 1, until a quick nav check showed we were only 1 mile from the finish. So we gritted our teeth and hung on. THere was a quick cheer as we crossed the line, then it was an instant bear away and yankee down and the third reef in before we got together for photographs and a proper celebration – as proper as it can be out here. Of course the whole team is delighted – a clean sweep is something special, we couldn’t be happier.
Now we are motoring to Manhattan – last night we left the lumpy bumpy gulf stream behind. FOulies, Nero mid-layers, boots, hats and gloves have all reappeared. Despite the sunshine, we are all finding it COLD as we reach more northerly climes.

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