Clipper Round the World: Donna checks in from Leg 4

Clipper Round the World: Donna checks in from Leg 4

Clipper Round the World: Donna checks in from Leg 4

Jan 4, 2020    |     Donna Von Tunk

The Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg – Qingdao Leg 4 Race 5 

“This leg has been a very different challenge for us on Qingdao. We have been used to racing at the front on all the previous races but this one we have struggled with windholes and foul currents.

The festive season onboard did provide a welcome distraction from our frustrations of racing. We had a hearty Christmas dinner that seemed to last for days with what seemed like a never-ending supply fruit cakes and mince pies and brandy butter.

The new year was seen in with hugs all round, despite the crew trying to wake me, I slept through the whole event because I had been on a solo mother watch on New Year’s Eve. I appreciated that sleep and felt refreshed for the first day of the year.

We made our exit from the Southern Ocean, rounding Tasmania and found a very tame Tasman sea and the temperatures climbed up as we came north. We refocused and climbed up the leader board until we were back at the top of the fleet. It was short lived with an obstacle course of foul currents and windholes. It was like a game of snakes and ladders for the fleet as we entered the South Pacific.

It was here we had a few days of smoke hazed days where it was so thick from the bushfires in the east Australian states. Even though we were 150nm from the coast, the sun was blocked out all day. It was an eerie feeling and the four Australians on board, which included me recalled times when we had been caught up in bushfires. I’ll mention here that I had a store of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), whey protein powders and other muscle recovery supplements. The crew have found these extremely beneficial and have recovered quickly from strenuous shifts. I consider this our new secret weapon.

Finally, this race is not over for Qingdao yet. At the time of writing, we are sitting in seventh position and we are still hunting down a podium. Donna signing off.”

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