The crowd here in Holland has been amazing. Hundreds if not thousands of spectator boats have been out on the water yesterday to welcome the fleet and today to watch in the In Port Race. In the harbor where the boats are in the inner city, 60,000 fans came down to see the boats and greet the sailors. This country loves sailing! At the prize giving this afternoon for today’s race, all the sailors from ABN, Brasil1 and Pirates through their hats into the crowd as a showing a appreciation for their enthusiasm for what we do. Judging from the public interest in this race here, I would expect to see three of four boats from Holland in the next Volvo Ocean Race.

Today, we hit the 3 wood. With a four stroke lead and two holes to go, you don’t take out the driver and shank it into the trees. We had a middle of the line start while the others fought for the leeward end, Ericsson was over early and had to go back, ABN1 was then the left boat and they won. Brasil1 was second from the left and they were second and we were third from the left and we were third.

We had good speed and made some inroads at times on Brasil1 but the course was shorter than usual at 2.5 miles and we never could really threaten them.

Big picture is that we have a three point lead going into the last leg. I know it says we have a four point lead, but Brasil1 will win the tie breaker if we tie. So, Brasil1 has to be first or second in the leg in order to have a chance to beat us. If they are third or worse, we finish second overall. Then, if Brasil1 is first or second, we have to be with three places of them and we keep our second place.

If we stay out of 5th or 6th, we finish second no matter what Brasil1 does. So we are in good shape heading into this last leg.

Besides, the last leg is to Sweden, my wife is Swedish, and I still need to impress my mother in-law. So we are planning on winning the last leg!

Tomorrow is a day off. Tuesday is Disney corporate sailing day and loading the boat. Wednesday is a day off and Thursday is the start to Gothenberg. We are starting in the inner city of Rotterdam. That means a 22 mile sail out the very narrow shipping channel. Should be exciting.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean