Race 11 Day 1, Sun June 6th 
New York to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Having had a sensible early night last night – for the first time since our arrival in the Big Apple, I was relieved to wake early and hang-over free!!  A usual final hour of making the most of port wifi followed before getting the boat (and my bunk) ready for another race. Dan from our Sponsors Yorkshire Forward, had been out in NYC to see us, promote business, jobs and tourism for Yorkshire and was there this morning, waving us off as the fleet left North Cove Marina, to parade in front of the crowds and Miss Liberty, before heading out past the busy shipping lanes towards the race start.

Although only coming 4th in the last race, once again our confidence was high. We knew we'd raced well and this next race would be a short race like the race from Panama to Jamaica. The short sprints seemed to suit us and we felt once again that this could be our best chance to gain that yellow 1st place pennant.  For once, I didn't have a camera in my hand and so had a chance to be on the helm as we paraded in formation, Red Arrows style, in front of the crowds eventually leaving Manhattan and New York behind us.

Our confidence took an immediate knock as even before ducking under the Verizon Bridge our main halyard (the rope that holds the mainsail up) split and we had an ordeal trying to get the rest of the rope, which was now loose from the outer sheath, through the jammers so we could lower the mainsail and sort a replacement line!  We tried to stay positive and reasoned that at least it had happened now while we were motoring rather than right in the middle of race start.

It would take us several hours to get out to the position of race start – which like the race from Panama, would be another Le Mans style start.  As we would all be involved in that and as our watch would then go straight into being the first night watch I took the opportunity to catch up on missed sleep over the past 4 days!.

At 4.30pm I was woken to be told we were nearly there. The other boats were lining up and we were getting into position. Everyone had a role – I was on the staysail halyard ready for the hoist, until Tom freed me up, assuming I'd rather be filming the start! Justin spotted that I was disappointed not to be involved and with just less than a minute to go to the start, asked me to take the helm from him. It was my first chance to be on the helm for a race start and I loved it!

We were one of the first to get our sails up and trimmed and were pretty well equal first as we pulled away. After 10 minutes during which every boat has to hold a set course, the tactics then came into play and there was much jostling for position, trying to creep in front of other boats by heading up higher to get extra speed and go up and around or just trying to sneak through on the inside by holding a good constant course and hoping you helm much better that the opposition.  We held off challenges from  Jamaica, Cape Breton and Finland – all of which had their skippers on the helm so  I can't have been doing too bad a job!