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Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador Blogs

Ahead of the Clipper 2017-18 Race starting from Liverpool in August 2017, Mr Nqoba Mswazi (left) provided his thoughts on being a returning Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador, which can be found on the Sapinda Rainbow website.

All blog posts from Sapinda Rainbow Ambassadors from on board the boats since the race has started can be found below and on the News section of the Sapinda Rainbow website.

LEG 2 DAY 11 (BY NQOBA MSWAZI)

Hello all,

Back in the ocean again after a good twelve day stopover in Punta del Este - good food, people and we also had a few great parties.

It's now Day 11 in the South Atlantic Ocean since leaving Punta. We've played our Joker Card so we have to sail the boat quickly into Cape Town [to make the most of getting double points] - so far, so good. As the winds have been in our favour, the whole fleet is moving fast and making good distance.

Earlier this week, I received bad news about the passing of my sister (Duduzile), which really wasn't what I wanted to hear in the middle of the ocean. The crew really supported me throughout the week including the shore support crew as they helped with getting in contact with people. Thanks to everyone with the support and messages.

This week we have also had our first storm with gale force winds getting up to 50 knots, which made the “Quiksilver Pro Surfing Championships” begin as the guys were surfing down waves and setting their surf speed scores, which were only getting higher as well as drowning the helm from the waves. Unfortunately, I missed out on the action as I was on galley duty but I did make sure that the guys had hot meals after their shift and coffee while on deck even though it was a bit hard to keep the sea water away from the cup while drinking.

It has all settled a bit now as we're getting closer to South Africa. Have to say, in all my three South Atlantic crossings this is the coldest and wettest it has ever been for me; my boots and foulies were soaked up to a point where my Sealskinz socks gave up. Sometimes I'll be up behind the helm listening to the pins and needle pain in my fingers and toes. Dale has been very kind to us giving us a space to dry our socks and gloves.

We are now about 800nm to Cape Town. Food topics are coming out again and I have been having these cravings for KFC hot wings when I arrive. I am also looking forward to seeing some friends and family on my arrival and I'm hoping we arrive during the day so I see all the faces.

All in all, life onboard Dare To Lead is good

See you all in Cape Town!

Leg 1 Day 31 (By Nqoba Mswazi)

Greetings to all.

It’s been 31 days since we left Liverpool. Sailing has been good, keeping the boat moving down south. We have had busy and stressful days after our Equator crossing with one of the crew members being sick which led us to divert for a medical evacuation. This meant we had to sail slightly off our course meaning losing positions. The Brazilian lifeguards and doctor met up with us and, with a few language issues, we could finally transfer our sick patient and finally we set sail and resumed with our race.

Last week we also managed to get two injuries onboard which led to stitches for Lou Taylor, one in the chin and the other one in the left hand, which meant she could play with us on the helm while we were surfing down some swells this week. I have to say, she has good rope work skills when it comes to easing out halyards as she can keep the tension on the drum of the winch.

We are now getting to the final stages of the race as every mile counts and, also with the winds being a bit fickle, keeping the boat moving is what we can do now. Weather is also getting a bit colder as we are sailing further south - we are now 32 degrees South. Foulies are back on and sleeping bags are laid out at night.

Food cravings have started in the boat as everyone has a different first choice meal to have on our arrival day. Already some steak and wine orders are being placed in mind but my order never changes - chicken in every port is my 1st meal option!

It will be a good break from all of the tin food we have been eating as some of it does not taste as good as it used to when we started the race. Less portions are been made and more snacks are been pulled out.

So, I have been having a few problems and it’s not only me - the climbing harness (known as “Pants of Power”) do not fit me anymore, which means in Punta del Este I will have to put some weight back on and maybe on the next Leg I can sweat halyards without worrying about them falling off. 

Thank you all for the support and for your time while you have been following us on the race and, for my support group, I am hoping to be in soon and my phone will be back on.

Cheers,

Nqoba

Leg 1 Day 15 (By Nqoba Mswazi)

Greetings to all

This is my first blog since I received the good news of re-joining the Clipper Race doing Legs 1 and 2. It all happened so quickly - sorting out visas and making it down to Gosport for training, Boat Preparation Week and then a sail up to Liverpool for the start.

When I joined Dare To Lead, I got a lovely welcome from the crew as they tried their best on pronouncing my name right. Being back on the Clipper 70s again felt so good - fast boat and good team spirit from our crew, which has the nickname of the “Dark Horses”.

As I gelled with the crew, the days were flying by and, before I knew it, it was Race Start. It’s been a good couple of days in the North Atlantic as we are trying our best to get the boat sailing well and we are chasing the guys up in front. Still early stages of the race as anything can still happen. Winds have been there for us but we seem to be on the wrong side when they start to turn making our tactics a bit difficult and we started losing positions. But we are still chasing. We have also experienced two spinnaker wraps, but not major ones, and we were able to get these fixed and carry on flying it.

I have to say it’s very nice being on a boat that can actually perform well. 11 days in the race and now I have realised that the basic things in life do really matter and can make your life so much easier – for example, the toilet seat and the flush button instead of the 20 pumps wet and dry!

We are now getting more south as the temperatures start to increase making sleeping and galley duties difficult. We have passed our first ocean mark which was the Scoring Gate. We decided on changing our course which we hope will pay off as we head for the Doldrums Corridor.

As the heat beats on us during the day, we are running out of squash on Week 2. Water bottles are used a lot now and the cups seem to be used less as soup has been out of the menu.

The next update will be on the other side of the Equator as we are about to cross to the southern side    

Cheers all

Nqoba