We get a taste of life at the front of the fleet
MBY correspondent Derek Wynans is preparing for a white knuckle ride today on LionHeart, the leading boat in the race.
The prototype Goldfish RIB is the envy of the Round Britain fleet and Derek is excited, and slightly terrified, to be seeing the 90-knot beast up close.
It has been entered by Norwegians Pal and Henrik Sollie with UK Goldfish importer James Sydenham of Salterns Boatyard in Poole.
The 36ft craft has an identical sister boat in the race called Gutta Boyz, currently placed third overall.
Racing continues today from Inverness to Edinburgh, the longest leg of the event at around 210 miles.
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Before he set off Derek gave us his impressions of the last two rest days:
Whilst the last 48 hours haven’t officially been part of the race, there are still many who are racing nonetheless – against the clock.
Only now, when the spotlight is off the flamboyant drivers, do we get to see how important the back-up teams are.
Without the small army of mechanics, drivers and ‘fixers’ there would never even be a race.
Racing Silverline have flown a man out to Germany to collect engine components.
Jonathan Napier of Team 747 has just returned from the South Coast with a replacement propshaft and propellor tucked under his arm.
And even when rare and obscure items are sourced and transported to Inverness, there is still the small matter of fitting them in time for the race.
Both Silverline and Team 747 were working well into the early hours to get the boats ready for today’s gruelling leg to Edinburgh.
I’ve heard stories of team drivers driving from Milford Haven to Ireland with a smashed side window, and one mechanic (whilst travelling from Bangor to Oban) snapped the chain on his motorbike and missed his ferry, leaving him stranded in Ireland.
There are dozens of similar experiences where the team back-up members have gone for many, many hours without sleep or food, and yet in Southampton on the race boats’ drivers and navigators who’ll be spraying the champagne.
But I’m sure that, even though they won’t receive the official acclaim and admiration they so richly deserve, the dozens of behind the scenes mechanics and drivers will have gained the admiration and respect of everyone who’s relied on them over the past 10 days.