Race 10: Qingdao to Seattle 

Or ‘the Big Chill’ 

Life on board 

Most of our multi-leggers and Round the Worlders had felt this race looming ahead of us. We anticipated that it would be colder, wetter, longer and with tougher seas than anything we’d experienced to date. This race met all expectations and more. At one stage I had 7 layers of clothing on my upper body and 3 on my lower. And still I was cold. It was the wind – it sliced through us with every gust, which felt colder when we were wet. Motoring into Seattle’s sheltered harbour after a month of being damp and cold was a welcome relief.  

Lessons learnt 

I’m not sure if this is a lesson to learn or not, but I now ‘see’ a compass laid out on the ocean in front of me when I’m at the helm. It has taken my helming to another level as it gives me an even stronger sense of my course, particularly if there are no stars, clouds or other useful navigation sights.  


I’ve discussed repairing our equipment in previous blogs. One important aspect of this is to prevent the need for repair at all by looking after our equipment. In port we have an extensive jobs list that, along with prioritising repairs, focuses on maintenance. In Qingdao, with the challenges of the North Pacific passage in mind, our boson and sail repair teams spent days servicing all our race critical equipment- regardless of whether it was damaged or not. There are no chandlery stores out in that big blue ocean!