So if you play with cats and get too many scratches, one can literally get what is known as Cat Scratch Fever, as became the infamous song.

Well having witnessed the Leopard scratch screamingly fast across 1800 miles of ocean, we now have Scratch Fever as we go a fraction of that to say the least. The Leopard wants to scratch some more and in the right direction!

That “fever” is assuaged with iPods, debates of Kiwi rugby matches, a few books, magazines and previous races have been analyzed and discussed in great detail “Were you in that Fastnet when we…..

Hatches are open and we think the incredible warm thermal arising from our worn thermals below deck is creating a little apparent wind to help us along. Most crew are on the bow to avoid the draft aft….

Seriously, there a hundred little weather patterns scattered throughout the fleet, with each tracker update bringing an enormous amount of scrutiny hoping for a nugget of insight. As you can see boats are in every direction with their own little breeze.

We did have a bit of a shock yesterday morning just after the 8 am watch change when we hit something quite big, most probably a whale. The boat went from 23 knots of boat speed to 10 knots in a second, an alarmingly bump to say the least. After a safety check on the keel and the boat in general we were off again. There was no visible damage and luckily no one hurt by the quick slowdown. BUT, the main salon was given a new look to the interior by the fresh bowls of chicken noodle soup that went flying though the air. Modern art meets yacht racing…..

We are sanguine, what goes quickly can also go slowly. Humor remains high and egos have no choice but to remain low with zingers flying.

Clarke Murphy

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