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The solo sailing blog: 24 hours without sleep

Alex Thomson

alex 300x198 The solo sailing blog: 24 hours without sleepAs you all saw from my video yesterday, Sunday was a pretty challenging day for me on board HUGO BOSS. I made an emergency repair as the hydro generator broke, which damaged the starboard tie bar of the rudder.

I did quite a good DIY job and everything with the boat is running smoothly again. In fact things have gone from strength to strength, after the minor setback with the repair where I had to stop the boat completely, I’m now in third. position which is an amazing achievement.

Yesterday I sailed into the Doldrums which is an area near the equator where the pressure is low and the winds are extremely calm. Overnight I made up 80 miles on the front group which put me in the leading group. It was far from easy though, I had a really tough night last night and I haven’t been able to get any sleep, it’s been 24 hours now. It was like one constant squall. It was monsoon rain for seven hours straight. I had practically no wind at all so I have been steering by hand the entire time, a constant struggle.

The Doldrums are such a tough area to sail through because of the lack of wind. I’ll think that I’m out, but every time I go through the Doldrums I always think to myself ‘now Alex, you know, whenever you think you’re out, it means that you’re not’. I get my dry clothes out and then bang, it starts all over again.

But I do think I am now out. I am sailing upwind, completely exhausted but I can’t get any sleep just yet. I have the boats all around me and I can see them, so I want to stay awake at the moment to ensure I don’t sail too close. Also, three sail changes mean the boat is a bit of a mess, so I have to spend the next few hours tidying up and putting sails away. Then hopefully I can go for a bit of a well-earned rest.

It is a great feeling to be in third, I am really happy to be up here at this point in the race, but it is all very close. I am just ready to get some sleep now!

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