Blair, below: So, real interesting one. Final appraoch to the Hague and the end of the race, and we knew it would be the case, but there's these TSS's that are a massive exclusion zone. Have to make a choice off Denmark which way to go. We were lining up to go on the inside, down toward Germany and along the beaches on the top of Holland; made a late call to go to the west. As a result we lost quite a lot on Brunel and AkzoNobel who had decided to go this way earlier, and doing so we split from Dongfeng who were carrying on down. It's a tricky one, but at the end of the day we have to do what we think is right to get us there fastest, and both the boats we had to beat are going different ways, and we feel this way's fastest. Got Brunel about a mile above us now, so we're gonna have to fight to the end. But that's the way it is. All good really. Wouldn't want it any other way. Not long to the finish now, definitely in the final sprint. Probably no sleep now for sure. Not that there's been much sleep. There's gonna be compression toward the finish as well. Lot of light stuff and gybing... Plenty to play for. Just glad we're here and in the fight. It's been a busy few days, just looking forward to finishing off well. Black and white shot of the cockpit. Mast cam view of lowering the J1. Loud shot of the cockpit. Conversation between Blair and Joan at the nav station. Xabi in the pit. Slomo. Blair on the helm.Spreader cam of the cockpit. Mast cam of spray on the bow. Stern cam of major washing machine. Liz: This is definitely one of the things I'm going to miss about the race. It's pretty cool to spend the last 24 hours like this. It's a good way to end the race. Washing machine in the pit. Stacking. Bagging a sail (?) on the floor of the cockpit. Liz: Gaining on Scallywag the last 2 hours, and everyone's pretty geared up to stay in front of them. So the fight is on. Lowering the J1 on the foredeck.Black and white. Night. Abby works the pit. It's super loud as they surf on starboard; some maneuver is going on. Water cascades into the cockpit. Abby coils. Below, Peter, from his bunk, asks Capey about the sched. Capey: It's half and half; could go either way. Looks like they're going inshore. [Talking about MAPFRE and Dongfeng, I assume.] Peter, in his bunk, explains to Sam: Just peeled to the J0. "So we go the J1 off, which is always nice. AkzoNobel seems to be going pretty quick with the J1, Vestas is down to leeward, a little bit behind. We're not very sure if MAPFRE and Dongfeng are going inside or outside; we're obviously going outside. Hope to find some good speed with the J0 and get to Holland."Night. Capey is getting his boots on (or off?) below. Sam: What's going on, Capey? Capey: Sail-change time. Sam: You were just sleeping pretty soundly... You pretty excited to go on deck? Capey: Yup. Capey at the nav station. Chart screen, which shows their position and other boats via AIS: even with Dongfeng and a few miles short of MAPFRE. Wind strength symbols appear to show them in a building wind, currently at 25 knots. Louis, getting ready below: Wish me luck, Sam. Sam: It's not easy, right? Louis: It's a very difficult peel. Lowering the jib in 25 knots. Whew. Wish me luck. Abby in the pit hoists the J2. Crew (Peter, and presumably Carlo on the bow) goes forward and the J1 starts coming down. Sam loses his balance in the hatch and falls. Sam, under his breath: "Fuck!" He gets the camera back on the crew on the foredeck. Looks like there are at least 4 people gathering in the J1. Stacking the J1 aft. Abby working in the pit. Peter, in the cockpit: Allright; J3 to deply in 2 [maybe? for double-heading?]. Grinding as the sail deploys.Crew lying down below: Fabien, Justine (maybe?). Hard to tell in their gear. Maneuver on deck (sail change?); working in the pit. Chalres on the helm. Land to starboard. Jack, below: As standard as we thought it was going to be, it's close and stressful. Brunel was quite a bit back in the morning, and they've been quite fast and they've come back into us. I think MAPFRE's about 2 miles ahead and Brunel's about 1 mile ahead. Pretty close, pretty stressful. We're around the north end of the course and on to Gothenburg. Coming around the island all the boats had a different sail setup... think Brunel has done the best. Long night ahead. Spreader cam and mast cam shots of pounding on a close reach, shifting the stack.Xabi wakes up Willy and Neti (I think?) to go to the J0. Spreader cam shots of pulling the sail off the stack, Blair and Willy rigging it on the foredeck. Neti goes forward with the tack, loses it in a big wave, then comes back to get it again. He and Willy on the bow. spreader cam shot of Sophie feeding it up at the mast. Slomo washing machine shots in the pit. Neti on the clew of the main as they reef. Willy coiling in slomo in the pit.Simeon in the pit with someone else. Brad below: Think we had some trouble reefing. Not sure exactly what's causing it, but it's not going on the lock. It's a matter of going through a few different processes to see what it is. Go back to full main; see if that fixes it. Simeon, in the pit: Line didn't break did it? Simeon at the mast on the spreader cam: I think it's on. I don't know; we've never had this before. Brad, below: Brunel is half a mile away, so this is costing us. Hope it isn't a problem later on when there's more breeze and we definitely need to reef.Tacking with MAPFRE behind them. Three boats inshore of them. Bouwe on the helm. Stacking aft. Capey at the nav station: MAPFRE's planning to go between the two [islands]. Peter, from his bunk: Gonna be quite close with us. Capey studies the screen. You can feel Sam wanting to talk to him, but not doing it because Capey is visibly thinking. Capey keeps glancing up at one screen, then down at the other. He blinks in surprise at something. Peter gets out of his bunk. Capey: Fuck. He gets up. Sam follows him. Capey talks to Bouwe in the cockpit. Peter gets his foulies on, goes up. MAPFRE crosses them on starboard just ahead. Dongfeng and another boat is visible beyond them. Peter is confused: Akzo appears to be goose-winging the jib. Or maybe he's on the other tack; can't really tell. Vestas is parked up here. (We see Vestas.) Alberto: Tricky situation; there's a couple of big islands. We just lost a couple of dozens of meters to MAPFRE and Dongfeng, but I think we have a good opportunity to gain again. Capey and Peter look to port. Peter: Should we go here? Capey goes to the nav station. Capey agrees. Peter: Go now! He starts shifting the stack. Bouwe seems to be letting them make the call. Tack. Abby and Louis grinding in the pit. Nina talks about there being a fishing farm that's not on our maps, so it adds a little stress to the afternoon. Fish farm nets as they sail past. Three boats ahead of them in the afternoon light. Waves on a headland to starboard. Bouwe's face on the helm. Slomo shots of islands, another boat as they sail upwind with the J1. Slomo of Alberto trimming. Sunset. Kyle explains. They had a parkup, then Turn the Tide took off. We didn't do the best job in the islands; kind of got spat out the back. Akzo, MAPFRE, Dongfeng, and Vestas are all ahead of us now; Turn the tide is behind us. We were in a good position, but now our position isn't too good. But going upwind, with some good opportunities, some good splits.Dock out. Dee waves. Liz steers. Looking at the chart below. Brian explains strategy before the start. Dee plays air drums on teh wheel. Bianca's boots and socked feet. Lucas goes up the rig to kick battens/look for wind. Grinding. Start, with Scallywag ahead. Cool shot out the pit. Francesca waves the protest flag; judge's blow whistle and penalize Scallywag. Watching other boats with helicopter noises and they slowly sail out.Slomo shots of rough seas. Martin on the helm exercising his cold hands. Bernardo scowling. Winch drum. Liz in the pit getting soaked. Everyone in neoprene hoods. Lucas in a helmet with faceplate. Dee on the pedestal. The usual "slomo washing machine from the hatch" shots, but the slomo and the focus on the faces really works well. Bianca coiling in the pit. Bleddyn ducks to take whitewater over his head. Dee and Liz are heads-up, keeping their eyes on everything. Great stuff. Bernardo comes below, pulls off his hood. Bernardo: "It's pretty wild. We just came out of 30 knots, did a peel to the J0, and the waves are quite messy. Just sorting everything out. And get ready to go back on the bunk for a 2-hour nap." Bleddyn: Do I enjoy it? Yeah, it's good! It's nice to get a bit of breeze... This has been the breeze we've been waiting for for a while, will take us most of the way there. Cardiff here we come." Shots on deck of the big seas. Bianca dancing at the pedestal. Liz joins her, dancing on the helm. Bernardo, trimming on the stern, pulls his hands across his eyes John Travolta-style. Liz, tucked under the coaming, does her tube stance. "This is a barrel tube!" More washing-machine shots. Crash cam shot of a triple wipe-off: Helm, trimmer, and pedestal all knocked down by the wave. Epic!Slomo line-handling in the cockpit. Horace in the pit: Amazing! This is an offshore race. Very strong weather, downwind. Never stops. Intense. And fast! [He raises his fist.] Slomo washing machine shots in the cockpit. Stu and Horace grinding in the pit. Carolijn below: Very, very wet.Bleddyn: 24 hours after the start. Lots of fog. Haven't seen other boats. Split this morning; we've gybed heading more northeast. Other guys are still going southeast. Expect they'll come north at some point. We're in lighter breeze, but we're going in the right direction, which is a positive. Crew in the cockpit talks and laughs about Welsh. Bleddyn gives langauge lessons to Bianca. Lucas, trimming the main, talks about hearing Bleddyn talking on the phone in what he thought was English, but then not being able to understand any of it. Lucas: "Wave. Main on." Surfing. Lucas sings "Surfing USA". Dee comes up with the latest sched. Everyone else is still sailing together in the better pressure. We fell out of the pressure, and we have the shift so we had to gybe. Hopes they'll come together and have a restart. Lucas talks about going north, and splitting, which will be cold. Annalise: Not looking forward to the cold. So it better work out for us. Bernardo working in the pit, tidying lines. Stacking forward. Liz slaps Bernardo on the back. Liz: "Nice one." Bernardo: I started sailing in Portugal when I was 8 years old. I wanted to start before that but my parents didn't allow me. So when I turned 8 I started straight away sailing the Optis. My background was always dinghies: Optis, 420s, 470s, a bit of Laser, then did the Olympics (London 2012) in 49er. Then did Youth America's Cup, World Match Racing Tour, and chasing a little bit this world, more big boats. I tried to do the last race. I couldn't make it. And fortunately this time I got my chance, my opportunity. And this is a lifetime opportunity, a dream come true. Not only a challenge, the toughest race on earth, but it's a ride with a big team, where the teamwork makes a big difference. Most is how to manage yourself. It's a challenge in a lot of different ways. That's what makes me wake up every day. Best memory: Arriving in Lisbon, in my home port. Getting home on the first leg of the Volvo means a lot. Toughest moment: When we lost John Fish. It's hard to believe and understand that he's gone. That was a really hard and a sad moment. Liz: Why did we choose Bernard? Mostly his good looks. We needed a charmer on board. Someone who could sell ice to Eskimos... Needed people who have their mind on the game, looking for the next step, on the right side of the shift. A key person to have around.Drone footage *in the fog* of Brunel sailing upwind. Go Sam! Abby coiling in the pit. Capey with a tablet by the aft pedestal. Closeup of the chart showing routing. Peter calls up: MAPFRE's only half a mile behind us. Below, he talks about the fog, exclusion zones. Dongfeng in front, MAPFRE just behind. Low-altitude drone-in-fog shots. Now Sam's just showing off.Washing machine in the pit. Pascal at the nav station talks on the PA. Horace grinding in slomo in the fog. They get doused. Horace talks in Mandarin as he coils in the hatch. Slomo winch drum turning. Nav instrument screen.Tony working in the pit. Charlie on the helm. Washing machine as Vestas sails fast on starboard tack. Sargasso weed closeups on deck. Stacking on the weather rail. They sail thorugh a huge mass of weed. Boat slows way down; makes a rooster tail. Nick looks over the stern at the rudders. "Weather one's clear." He takes a boathook to the leeward rudder as they heel to windward. "There's a piece of rope on it." He shows the rope, then loops it around Martin and jokes that it's Neptune's Necklace for Martin's "first south-to-north equator crossing". Crew working on the foredeck.Bianca, in the pit with a headset on, talks about her job while sailing. Interview for the Daily Live? Or for Kiwi TV/radio? "Last night I got to sleep in my bunk for the first time in 5 or 6 days... We're all pretty smelly on board... Doing pretty well so far." Drone shot with birds. Dee: Did an interview on the phone, and took recommendations from other people. She lived up to the reputation. She didn't realize it had been so long since a female Kiwi did the race. So coming into Auckland there's a lot of interest. Bianca: I started sailing when I was 3. Talks about her dad sailing Laser, and her sailing on the bow of the Laser. Liz, on the helm, talks about how it's fun to have "the Cookie Monster" on the boat. She's getting pretty excited about coming into New Zealand. Shot of Bianca doing work in the cockpit. Lucas: "Absolute powerhouse she is. Works all day, good energy... Has a laugh every now and then, which is good. Really does a good job in the pit." Bianca describes her job in the pit. In charge of running sails up, down, furling, cleaning up messes. She talks about her history: classic keelboats out of Auckland, match racing, offshore... Now I'm here. Below, she talks about being excited sailing into New Zealand in the Volvo. A dream come true.Brad and Martine on the foredeck peeling from J1 to J0? FR0? Stacking. Luke in the pit. Luke bailing below. Filling up water in the galley. Brad: Nine days in. Not the easiest 9 days. Blast reaching, throwing the boat around. When they get to the doldrums they'll want to get this again. "As long as you keep your gear dry." Richard asks, "Is your gear dry?" Brad shakes his head and smiles. "Soaked all the way through." He eats. Jules talks about their lead over Scallywag and MAPFRE. They'll lose some of that as they lead into the first doldrums area. He talks about strategy with someone. Shots of the conditions lightening on deck. Nicolai talks about light winds coming. Frustrating, but they knew it was coming. Ready for hard work. Unfurling a bigger sail (MH0?). Jules talks about strategy. Simeon scans the horizon for wind. Squall with rain and wind. Grinding. Winch drum. Jules talks about the nearby boats. Luke in the cockpit. Jules, in the companionway, talks about the clouds, and strategy.Night shots of them sailing on starboard. Another boat in the background. Kyle talks about how all night they've been within a mile or so of the other two boats, pushing hard. Cool night/dim shots. Dongfeng. Kyle: "Nice to be fighting with the leaders." Gives them confidence. Kyle cleans up lines in the pit. Stands on the outrigger to adjust the J1 leech cord. Cool drone shot in dim light of Brunel going to weather with Dongfeng in the background, a quarter mile away. Kyle on the foredeck. Another sweet drone shot, circling them to show both Dongfeng to leeward and AkzoNobel ahead and to weather. Kyle goes below with his toothbrush. Bouwe sits at the nav station, looking at a chart. Kyle gets in his bunk.Hgh speed wake shot. Stern cam of surfing in very high winds. Pascal at the nav station. Fabien, below, talks about how they're approaching the ice limit. Will need to do some gybes to stay in the pressure. Bow cam of Dongfeng surfing. Mast cam of cockpit during gybe. Stern cam of the end of the gybe. Looked good. Marie, below, talks about how on deck it's a washing machine. Have to grab the pedestal to stay onboard. Life jacket, clipped in. "I hope the wind will decrease a bit." "We are still ahead... But the three last days are very difficult for me." Sunset washing machine shot of stern. Closeups of pit from inside cabin. Winches, spray. Water cascading into the cockpit.Abby works the pit in the washing machine. Annie, below, out of breath: "Classic Portuguese coast weather. Quite breezy, and the wave state is pretty big right now. Fun downwind sailing, big waves, lots of water coming over the bow." Abby, below: "We knew it was coming. You've got it in your mind that you know what you're going into... But I think when it happens, it's always, yeah, that first night, it's a baptism of fire, like going straight into the deep end. [She looks out the hatch.] It's daylight now, so it makes it a little bit easier to see the waves." Maciel, below, eating: "A windy night. Wet. [He gestures at his bowl.] First meal from Lisbon. Trying to get some rest, and back on deck in three hours." Abby digging through the stack below. Capey crawling around and shifting the navigation panel to the port-side configuration. Abby putting her gasketed foulies on. Shots of winches, Maciel in the cockpit washing machine, Peter stacking on deck and then on the helm.Night shot of the pit area as crew coordinates a maneuver. Daytime shot of Tamára and Pablo grinding on the aft pedestal as MAPFRE surfs fast on starboard gybe. Rob on the helm getting hit with spray from the washing machine.