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Fwd: Pindar News 7.3 The Finale

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Dee White" <dee crinan net>
Date: July 20, 2005 11:31:16 AM EDT
To: "Dianne Cermak" <dspc comcast net>, "Don Morrison" <dfm mv com>, "Erick Owens" <erick owens tiscali co uk>, "Garry Burgess" <burgess1969 hotmail co uk>, "Jenny Buxton" <john buxtonhome ntlworld com>, "John & Diane Bullard" <dyandjohn bullard80 freeserve co uk>
Subject: FW: Pindar News 7.3 The Finale

Hi folks,
I can't believe it's all over. 10 1/2 months!!!!
It was absolutely fantastic down in Portsmouth on Saturday. Brilliant
weather, thousands of supporters and thank you so much to those of you
who came down to welcome Nick home. Sarah drove from North Wales, Simon
and Richard let us treat their house as a hotel and brought their
friends Rachel and Mason to join in the celebrations. Rosemary and
Martin drove down from Droitwich, David came by train from Sutton
Coldfield. Peter Yarney slept in the car park at Gunwarf Quay so he
could stay a little longer. Liz and Frank drove over from their home.
Heather and Bob (not to mention Lloyd the dog) came on Monday and

Thank you so much for all your support and especially those of you who
have taken the trouble to e-mail me and give me your well wishes.  It
meant a great deal when I was feeling low and lonely.

I am hoping to have a "Welcome Home" party for Nick sometime this
summer.  I won't know when it is until he gets home and sorted out. (He
actually arrived home as I was writing this, thanks to a lift up from
Portsmouth from Ted. No car now!). So watch this space, for your

-----Original Message-----
From: 42 N White [mailto:NWhite telaurus net]
Sent: 20 July 2005 06:37
To: Dee White
Cc: Simon White
Subject: Pindar News 7.3 The Finale


No more waypoints until the Needles Fairway buoy. It seems to us on the
that Challenge want us in early. Do they know more about the winds ahead
as the cynics say it's because they want BP to get in before the
celebrations finish?

We round Start Point into Lyme Bay and away ahead we can see the loom of
light marking Portland Bill for which we are aiming. Lyme Bay always
used to
seem a pig to cross but now we fly across it and we're at the Bill in no
time. The wind has pushed us a little further south than intended so
is no chance of taking the inshore passage. We press on well clear of
Weymouth Bay and round St Alban's head. In the past I've stood off the
measured mile at St Alban's with a foul tide and it's taken an hour to
the mile. This time we fly by, the sailing seems so much faster when you
see familiar land close to. Old Harry comes into view and as we power
Christchurch Bay South Island as Loz's calls his home land, the Isle of
Wight and the Needles comes into view. We'll be in by 1100 hours at this rate and I email Dee to get down early to Portsmouth. As there is a foul
tide running out of the Needles Channel  the route takes us into the
Solent via the North Route round Hurst Castle. The tide is running
us but we have a local boy as our skipper and he knows the eddy running
stones throw from the shore so we make good progress despite a dropping
and we don't run aground like Vaio!!
We're into the Western Solent but the wind's dropping so we keep to the
North of the channel in shallow water where the adverse tide is not so
There's a regatta heading towards us. They're all on starboard tack,
we're on Port, we're the give way vessel DAM!! We find boats coming over
to look at us and welcome us home. The photo ribs are out. We shout to
them not to power past us as their wash will slow us down. What did I
say about the wind
holding in my last news letter, well it's giving out and we start
up the Solent. The boats ahead to our right seem to have stopped. We
keep to
our left and creep ahead. Vaio gets more wind and moves in front as we
approach the next mark - Gurnard Head. We tack to make the mark, fearful
stopping but we creep round and creep on. The tide has changed in our
and we drift towards Cowes with little or no steerage. We pass Ellen
McArthur's triamaran too close for comfort with a 42 tonne boat and no
steerage but we don't collide and we have fenders ready in case of a
We're passing Loz's home town, Cowes, little more than drifting with the
Tide. Prince Consort is the next mark. To me it looks as if we're going
miss it but our local boy knows his stuff, we put the boat side on to
tide and drift by avoiding the IOW car ferry and the red jet passenger
ferry. The other boats are inshore with kites popped but no wind. There
seems wind further out. We try to make the boat drift towards it. The
welcome from small craft around us is awesome. An armada is building up
to follow us in. The Hatherleigh has come to join us along with the
Pindar rib and the Pindar open 60 and loads of Loz's mates from the IOW.
He keeps telling them to keep away, he needs to concentrate. He's only
had about eight hours sleep since we left La Rochelle. Come to think of
it we've only had the same in our bunks. Anything else has been cat
napping on the toe rail, our lifelines clipped on so we stay with the
boat if we roll over the side. We're running on pure adrenaline.
When I'm not in on the toe rail I'm working the pit and for once sod
who tries to take it over from me. We get a wisp of wind and having
back to eighth place we creep forward back into seventh place. The two
boats we are catching still seem to be drifting with flapping sails and
creep past them, we're up to fifth place with couple of miles to go to
finish. We round our last mark intending to dowse tack to the promo
spinnaker. It doesn't work the wind is not right, we need to finish on
yellow sails. We can't fly the kite at this angle. There's a bit of last minute confusion. Do we drop the pole before we hoist the genoa? Get the kite in! We'll lose the race if we don't sort it quickly. Loz is tearing his hair out and not for the first time half the Solent hears a burst of
Toretz syndrome.
We crack it, the finish line is ahead and seconds later we hear the bang
the finish gun. It's all over 33,000 and more of racing is behind us 10
months away from home is over. But wait! - there is the shore welcome
In the time it takes to drop our sails four more boats have crossed the
finish line and as we prepare to motor into Portsmouth another two
We may not be podium, but in fifth place we've lead a pack of seven
across the finish line and there's only BP to follow. The cynics were
She is a day behind. Challenge pulled us in early because they had the
weather knowledge that the last few miles would be slow like Cape Town.
As we motor towards Portsmouth each boat gets a naval escort. I've never been escorted by the navy before! The walls from Southsea to Portsmouth
lined with people, mostly total strangers to us, cheering us in.
Quay is packed to capacity all the houses have people cheering us from
balconies there are thousands out there. It's a emotional moment as what
have achieved starts to sink in and almost as emotional as I recall it
writing this.
 For safety only two people per crew member are allowed on the pontoon
welcome us in. Dee and Simon are there and there are many more well
back on the quay side. As we tie up, me king of the roving fender, Sir
Blyth showers me with champagne, a captive victim, just like I was when
he did it in Sydney. But this time Chay, I remembered to open my mouth
and get a few gulps of  the sweet taste of success. Handshakes kisses
and hugs amongst the finest crew in the race before dropping onto the
pontoon to friends and families. Hugs from Si kisses from Dee kisses and
hugs Sonia and Ted (Paul's parents who have been at every stop over and
adopted the whole crew as their family) tears of joy all round as we
head back up the ramp to stand for the first time in ten long months on
English soil (well concrete really but it doesn't sound so good). Sarah
is there for me and it's so long since I've seen her that, with her face
is part hidden by her sun cap, for half a minute I don't recognise my
own daughter hugging me. She's made a huge welcome home banner for me
being flown by two of Simon's new tenants. Hugs from Rosemary and Martin
tears from Sophie my pit buddy for the second half of the first leg.
Hugs and hand shakes from Richard, Adrian, Pete, Liz,  Frank and David
and many more and I'm carried off to the bar for the start of a heavy
night. Well not that heavy really I'm too tired. We leave for Simon &
Richard's house in Southampton and I'm asleep before Dee's paid for the
car park ticket. Oblivious to the ticket machine not working and the
barrier getting stuck I sleep unconscious of the journey home only
waking long enough to get out of the car climb the stairs and get to
bed. Poor Simon I seem to use his house like a dormitory hardly having
time to stop to talk to him.
Sunday and it's back to Portsmouth for the prize giving, a civic
and another party. We go via Gosport, not a good idea in a car but the
Hatherleigh is moored at Haslar Marina with a couple of cases of wine I
bought in France and I need to get sailing and shore kit off it for Dee
take home. It takes longer than expected so it's a rush to get back to
Portsmouth. I meet briefly with Heather and Sarah again all too briefly
before I'm engulfed in Challenge taking control of my life again.
BP arrives at around 3 am and is welcomed in just in time for the prize
giving. The race is now well and truly over and one of the most closely
fought of any of the round the world races. Coming into Wellington New
Zealand we were tenth and 150 miles behind the leaders. In the last race
there was 150 miles between first and second place. Coming into La
eleven boats made the same tide to get through the lock into the harbour
the last boat only missed it by a fraction. Coming into Portsmouth, well
enough has been said about that already. We get no prizes except Simon
(who the hell is he oh it's SPIKE even he's nearly forgotten his real
name!!) wins the best crew member award of a weeks holiday in the best
in Sark. Lets hope they serve Guinness. I did feel rather sorry for the
mayor of Portsmouth as the civic reception seemed sparsely attended I
it followed too quickly on the prize giving. Then more partying. I slip
at midnight catch the ferry for Gosport and a bunk on the Hatherleigh.
Monday - we've got to vacate the Hatherleigh as she is moving on,
by the UKSA but there's so much kit left by others those of us there
carry it. CT cheeky bugger sees a power boat leaving the marina moorings
persuades the driver to ferry us across. Emma Richards is also coming
the Pindar rib has broken down and drifting across the harbour so our
ganged ferryman nearly finds us asking him to give her a tow as well.
Fortunately assistance is on its way from elsewhere for Emma. Today is a
clear up day and a friends and family day for visiting the boat. Our
ferryman accepts an invite to see round the boat and at last I get a
to show Heather and Bob around and spend a little time with them though
as much as I would like. Evening was another prize giving and we all get
prizes for our work on the boat. Mine's for bilge rat. I'm presented
with a
bucket a mop and the bilge cleaning blocks (to make bilge cleaning more
comfortable)  I designed them in BA, emailed to Martin and got him to
make and bring to Wellington. Thanks Martin! Before I got those blocks I
got more
bruises cleaning the bilges from lying on the steel ribs than I got at
other time on the boat. Three of them survived the forth died from
So to our finale of today. We are escorted by a flotilla of vessels from Portsmouth to Cowes to be hosted for our final party by the UKSA (United
Kingdom Sailing Academy) who gave us so much support and kick started
crew funds in the early days when we were No Limits. Our escort included
Hatherleigh, several Challenge boats, the Pindar rib with Emma Richards,
cat with Ellen McArthur aboard and the recently restored Gypsy Moth IV.
Seeing Gypsy Moth IV in the water and later to walk on her decks was a
particularly poignant moment for me as  she was the first sailing yacht
ever set foot on albeit in dry dock at Greenwich, unknowingly she must
bewitched me. Gypsy Moth IV also reminds me of Jack in Cornwall, sadly
longer alive, who's interest in the Challenge was triggered after a
conversation about reading Sir Francis Chichester's book of about his
circumnavigation in that historic little yacht.
So to our last party, more prizes, a cracking barbeque and free drinks.
A touch of the Caribbean with Mount Gay Rum and Coke. Why has it taken
me until now to find I can drink the stuff with no effect and no hang
over!!! I pick up some brochures and some very useful contacts. We head
off to look at Gypsy Moth IV and then the crew persuade our ferry man to take us into Cowes to the 24 hour bar. So there I am standing in the bar
with loads of UKSA
brochures when I'm approached by a pretty young lass (ex UKSA) who asks
what I'm going to do and what have I been doing. I am by now a little
as I point to the Global Challenge logo on my jacket."Oh my god! Were
you core crew! You must have a drink!" So I get a little more pissed.
How will I cope when all the attention is over and I have to come down
to earth
Well quicker than I expected, I leave relatively early as I'm sleeping
Pindar and she's tied to a mid river pontoon so I need a water taxi. I
I'm on almost the last taxi for the night so I get on and ring Paul to
the rest of the crew not to stay out too late. I find a spare bunk,
climb in
and go to sleep. Half an hour later, crash bang, the rest of the crew
talking in loud voices, thumping round the boat, switching on the lights
totally oblivious of the few of us slumbering below. After waking us up
fall sound asleep into their bunks and the cacophony of alcoholic
starts, never to abate. No chance of sleeping now and it reminds me of
Pindar launch party back in September last year when the same thing
happened. Then I was to be seen walking down to Southsea and back at the
break of dawn. There's no escape for me now on a mid river pontoon so
typing this at 4 am and it's probably as well as it'll be the only time
get to contact you all for ages oh and it uses up my telaurus credit
that I
can't get refunded.

There might be a sequel to tell you how I adjust to blighty but if not


You may never fully realise how important your emails have been in
supporting me through the difficult and testing moments of the greatest
challenge of my life. Thanks to your support I now know that if my life
flashes in front of me it will be worth watching!

love Nick xxxx

Don Morrison <dfm mv com>
"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085,
for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our
permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give
a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote
it, that's all we wanted to do."  -- Woody Guthrie, in a mimeographed
song book, as quoted by Pete Seeger in an NPR interview in 1976