Marco Nannini gets closer in the Global Ocean Race….
The VHF finally broke its month long silence just before 6pm, Josh Hall on the committee boat is calling. "Financial Crisis, we have you in sight, we are coming towards you, well done, you are in Wellington!".
The rib came along driving in circles several times with the camera rolling under a gray sky, I finally see Ella and i emotionally carry on steering the boat towards the finish line. The finale of leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race was nothing short of a challenge in itself, battered by 35 knots of wind in Tasman bay we had to find shelter by the north island shore before the final attack beating down Cook Strait against the foul tide which made progress slow an painful, a squall came through and for half an hour we hang on wet, miserable and cold but with a smile on our faces and a glow given by the knowledge that we’d soon be hitting a hot shower and a first nice meal ashore.
As we approached Wellington harbour, on perfect cue, a pod of 4 happy dolphins came to ride our bow wave, our new friends came zooming under the bowsprit and often jumped clean out the water among our cheers.
The committee rib followed us all the way to the finish line a few miles up the harbour, then they fired a gun and blew a horn, minutes later Ollie, Clive and Sylvie climbed on board, the engine seal was checked as well as other seals to the anchor and liferaft then Ollie and Clive proceeded to filming a short interview…
Once we finally got closer to the marina we dropped the mainsail only to find out that the engine would start but would not engage gear, or we may have lost the propellor, who knows, but we needed to be towed all the way to our berth by Queen’s Wharf where now Financial Crisis sits with the GPS reading 0.0 knots, on the other side of the world in relation to the start in Europe, we are half way!
Immigration boarded the boat and quickly and efficiently stamped our passports and checked for fresh food products or any other contaminants and, rather kindly, they took away all our rubbish as a potential threat to New Zealand.
I came ashore met by Ella’s hugs and kisses before Hugo and I were handed a bottle of Champagne each which we sprayed against each other, we did it, we sailed some 7000 miles from Cape Town to Weallington in some of the roughest seas in the world, we were battered by force 9 and force 10 storms, we damaged sails and materials, but we are here ready to rest and regroup before preparations for next leg can begin.
We took fourth place but finished within 24 hours of BSL of Ross and Campell Field and were only 30 miles from the finish line when Halvard and Miranda finished with Campagne de France, their vigourous handshakes and generous congratulations were the icing on the cake, we knew we sailed a good leg and their aknoledgement meant a lot to us.
Now the unpleasant task of preparing a job list and assessing the likely cost of repairs will start, we have already received tremendous support from many friends and passionate followers and if you wish to assist us with the stopover costs, to ensure we can go further with the race, you can do so online at www.marconannini.com/help