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Tales from the extreme

Team SCA at the start of the race. Credit: RORC/Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comHere's a round-up of the best blogs from our trusted Onboard Reporters, as five boats compete for the first time in the Round Britain and Ireland Race...

Teeth are chattering. Eyes are blood shot. Bodies are aching. When we do have the chance to sleep, it is in bursts. It's nearly 0600 and except for a few naps during the night, Team SCA has been up for 24hrs.

The waves are pretty unreal: walls of white water, nearly reaching the first spreader, come flying over the deck. Some crash over the cockpit combing and fill the cockpit like a bathtub. One completely knocked Annie off her feet as she trimmed the main.

- Corinna Halloran, Team SCA

It seems all we do on this boat is go fast and life now is no different: wet, loud, and violently unwelcoming. First days like this really do make everything harder; particularly after an unexpected Sunday roast at the pub!

Discomforts aside, the real issue is the English obstacle course. We're avoiding wind farms, oil rigs, commercial traffic, and having to observe shipping lanes designed for boats that can motor in whichever direction they like.

- Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica

Overnight the wind increased to the high twenties to early thirties, meaning little or no sleep for the crew. Every so often, and without warning, Azzam's bow will bite into the back of a wave sending a foaming white mass of water the length of the boat, drenching the sailors and turning the cockpit into a whirlpool bath.

If you make it to your bunk you are shaken and jolted so much that sleep can be grabbed only minutes at a time before you are shocked awake by the rapid deceleration from yet another wave impact.

- Justin Chisholm, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

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Article by Volvo Ocean Race

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