Race 6: Newcastle to Airlie Beach

Life on board

Race 6 was a sprint of sorts. It was a short race that saw us complete it in less than 6 days. One of the notable differences in this race compared to the last few was the heat and humidity that built very quickly. Less than a week earlier I was in full foulies with merino base layers on. Newcastle to Airlie beach saw the return of shorts, short sleeves, my Vibram’s, and the glow and hum of usb fans to help people sleep.

Lessons learned.

Reefing synchronicity. We reefed far more in this Leg than many to date. Normally at the start of a race with new watches we take a methodical approach as it reduces error and injury risks. However, this race saw us ramp up our reefing evolutions where we looked for actions that could start to commence before others had finished. For example, when putting in a reef the main halyard can start to be eased while the topping lift and main sheet were still finishing their initial steps. This saves time and always keeps the crew active.


Rethinking is one of the Rs of sustainability. This can mean many things. On the boat it includes how we receive our fresh produce. We have reusable black flat pack crates that we store our fresh fruit and vegetables in. This reduces the cardboard waste onboard during the race that occurs as the produce is consumed. It also ensures we can recycle the cardboard properly on land before we leave port after we transfer the produce from the cardboard crates to our reusable plastic crates. Rethinking packaging choices can have a huge impact on the environment.