Below, Xabi talks about how they kept pushing hard. On deck, Xabi and Louis grnd on the pedestal. Xabi is REALLY pushing it; that's a lead-by-example leader there, methinks. Sophie grinding the starboard secondary winch. That's where that lined-face still photo of her that was making the rounds on SA came from, I think. Blair, below, recaps the last 36 hours, different winds, getting a 30-40 mile lead on Dongfeng. Them going into stealth mode, which made them have to push the boat the whole time. It was fun. 30 knots, massive waves. Trying not to break the boat. Stern cam / crash cam of the two grinders (Louis and Blair) being blown off the aft pedestal. Xabi, below, talks in Spanish. Washing machine shots. Támara grinding a pit winch. Xabi, below, recaps in English: Conditions tough for the past week. Last night very squally. A few broaches. 38-40 knots. "I think we did very well. We kept the boat in one piece, and everyone safe."Epic slomo shot of a big Southern Ocean wave. Nicho, below, eating: "Batten fouled again and another repair again. Getting there. Main's back up, so it's not slowing us down any." Justin, below, repairs a batten. "This is Frankenbatten. It's now got four different battens in it." He shows his work: The batten with multiple clamps holding the pieces together while glue cures. "We're obviously trying to be tidy Kiwis who use as much [something] as we can, 5200." There are clamps made from vice grips, from channel lock pliers with a big rubber band around the handle squeezing it closed, and a high-tech looking black clamp. Don't tell the media guy, but I've raided his camera box and found a clamp. Which I'm sure he's going to work out when it gets back that it's been used for some sort of repair." Nicho: "We don't mind doing all these running repairs all the time as long as we can go at pretty much full pace. But it wears everyone out. I don't think Brad has had a full off watch for a long time now. [To Brad.] When was your last full off watch?" Brad (sitting near the galley, pulling off bits of tape): "Can't remember my last full off watch." Brad, to James: "Haven't seen land for over a week now. As far away from anything as you can possibly be, more or less. It's not too bad. It's actually quite cool. Really good breeze, good waves. Good sailing." Martine coils lines in the pit, gets washed over by a wave. Below, she talks to Konrad: "Southern Ocean has been pretty cool, going downwind, in these big waves, sailing during the night with big seas. Cold weather as well. Everythying is dripping on the boat, but sailing has been pretty good, besides our breakdown. As long as we have all the sails up, it's all good." Nicho: "You have moments when you wonder what you're doing down here. Other moments quite in awe of the natural bueauty and harshness of the place... How vulnerable you are down here on a little carbon shell in the middle of nowhere. You want the leg to be over, but also how special it is to be here." Slomo of Nicho on the helm, albatross flying by. [Side note: Again, no Simeon. I'm increasingly of the view that Nicho is actually functionally skipper at this point.]Annie, with no foulies on below, puts her foot down and holds on, wincing, as she slowly adjusts her position to get out of her bunk. She says something to Abby, next to her. Lying down, she describes getting pushed into the guy wire against the back of the boat. Big pain in her right side, couldn't move her right leg. Couldn't stand up, couldn't crawl. Ice gate was coming up; guys had to drag her along the deck and put her in the bunk. Shot of them taking her foulies off as she describes the pain. "It's like a burning pain." Bouwe: "Suggest the only thing is get the gear off now, and get her in the sleeping bag." Later, as she's lying down, she describes the pain to them: "It's like a 6 most of the time. And then sometimes it's a shooting pain that's more like an 8." Bouwe: "Most important thing is get her down, even if the ice gate is coming up... Security first. Before any medication I just made a quick call... Because if there's any internal bleeding then of course you can do wrong things." Every 4 hours she's getting [something; presumably painkillers]. "But she's a tough cookie." Shot of Bouwe on the phone at the nav station, writing notes, crew pawing through bag for medicine. Bouwe talking to Annie in her bunk. I think they're talking about where the pain is. Bouwe: "It's basically on the [bum?], yeah? That's good, because I was worried at the time [something]." Annie: "It's my lower back." Bouwe pats her on the shoulder. Annie, in her bunk: "Since then for the last 24 hours I've been in my bunk. Bouwe called Spike [?] yesterday, I've been on painkillers, I've just emailed him a few hours ago to see if he knows what it might be and if there's any way to fast-track getting me back on deck. At the moment we're going along the ice gate and we're gybing a lot and I feel very bad that I can't help everyone with the stacking and gybing. It's hard to stack myself. The goal is to get back on deck as soon as I can. We're not even halfway through the leg yet, so, yeah. I really need to recover quickly." Carlo, below with Sudocrem (?) on his lower face, goes through a bag labeled "First Aid". Louis: "It's one pair of hands less on deck, so it's obviously much harder, there's much more work to do. So if you're with four persons on deck there's always one who can rest. So now it's 4 hours full on, grinding, trimming, driving. So then you suddenly realize how much Annie does. I really miss her in my watch for sure."Tony and Simon are sitting on the weather rail. Tony is in the middle of a story about seeing an iceberg. "It was right there, hundreds of meters long, 25, 30 meters high, or whatever they are. And that was the one you can see in the middle of the day... And then nighttime comes and radar's got targets everywhere. And those are only the big ones. Can't see the bus or car-sized ones." Simon, at the nav station, talks about being near the exclusion zone. Simon explains about how the trailing boats have had an easier time, while the lead boats have had to stair-step along the edge of the exclusion zone. Shot of the computer screen showing the exclusion zone. Tony points out the "wall". "Must have painted it gray; it blends right in." Nick is getting dressed; he tells a bedtime story to Jena, in her bunk. "Once upon a time there were 7 lonely sailboats in the Southern Ocean, on their way to Melbourne." He explains to Sam: "I'm telling the Swiss Miss girl." "On their way to Melbourne to have a very hot Southern Hemisphere Christmas. And then, the wild and scary Race Committee decided to put a liquid Himalaya ice gate that we had to climb atop, so we wouldn't be there for Christmas Day." Jena: "Did they steal our Christmas?" Nick and Tom are internal-stacking onto the port side; Tom mimes being attacked by killer bees. "They're eating my eyes!" On the helm, Chuy says there's a rule, like on a bus: Don't speak to the driver. Jena, sitting in the cockpit in a balaclava: "I actually got a little sad, because I feel Santa will never find us out here." SiFi: "It's true. I didn't even bring my stocking." Tom: "No Christmas for you. We're gonna keep you at sea. Make you sail around waypoints forever!" Jena jokes about a broken candycane being in 3 pieces so they can share. Tony and SiFi talk about icebergs. Tony doesn't need to see any more of them. SiFi: "They make the ice gates on a good scientific basis." Tony: "I've passed south of one that was 30 miles long, and it was no fun... I've dodged them, and been just about able to touch them from the wheel. That's how close we were... If they've got the information, as SiFi says, it'd be negligent not to act on it... Safety. Safety first." Sunset.Slomo shot of waves through the wheel. Interesting slowed-down audio. An albatross flies by. Slomo grinding. Slomo faces; Carolijn on the helm. Slomo trimming. Below, Carolijn takes off her gear. She talks to Martin; behind Fabien is making food in the galley. Carolijn: "Yes, it's painful. Not necessarily painful, it's just tough. It's very tiring. You get to a certain stage where you're so tired that you start tripping over your own feet. If you don't watch out it can be quite dangerous." Talks about even 20 minutes lying down in your bunk, even if you don't sleep, helps you get the energy to make the next gybe. "I've lost count. I don't even know if we're halfway yet. Just in the last 3 hours of my off watch we've done 6 gybes?... Entertaining stuff." Fabien eats with a bit of a 1,000-yard stare. (Looking at the tracker through this section it's been brutal; Dongfeng and MAPFRE are at the front of the fleet within AIS range of each other having a running gybing battle to see who can stay closer to the exclusion zone.) Pascal, below, drops his head and rubs it. Looks tired. We pull back and see he's watching Charles at the nav station from his bunk. Charles talks to Martin: "It's very simple. During 30 hours we're having to gybe every hour so it's a nightmare. Not very funny but we have no choice. We have the ice limit for a good reason... You have to stack every time, 600 kilos each time... You don't manage to sleep... That's life at the extreme for sure. On the positive side, we are ahead with MAPFRE and fighting for the first place, so it's good."Bouwe, below, talks about how Dongfeng and MAPFRE are ahead of the low and have a better wind angle than Brunel does. Talks about where the boats are. How they were sailing yesterday in a top speed of 60 knots. "People have to remember that's Force 12. That's pretty scary. But everything is fine; the boat is in one piece. That's the most important thing. The people are fine as well." Talks about the outlook, that the people in front get to ride the front longer than them. But you never know; there's 4,000 miles to go. Coming into Melbourne can be tricky. "We got a mail from the Race Office that they had some breakages. Of course it's unfortunate for them.. just one of those things, a mistake.. of course it's expensive in multiple ways, result-wise probably not very good, and probably get a penalty as well, so it's a double whammy." Slomo shots on deck: waves, someone steering, grinding, washing machine in sun and high wind. Wake with birds. Someone on the bow with a new sail.Dee, below, talks about it being 24 hours before the first big depression. Need to do safety checks. Her responsibility for the safety of the crew. Musto ad. Survival suit. Layers. Teletubby appearance. On the stern, Luke talks about dangerous conditions down here, being smart. Preventative things: clip on, wear your life jacket. Bianca talks about her life jacket, auto-inflating (as she well knows!). Jackstays to clip in with safety lines. Signaling device, personal locator beaon, strobe light. Below, Lucas gets dressed in his foulies.Drone shot of Vestas with the sun low behind them reaching in 15 knots of wind on starboard tack. (Think this is from late in the day on 2017-12-11.) Charlie, below, talks about the race so far. The plan they had when they left was not the best one, which put them on the back foot. "We've hit the reset button in the ridge." Simon, at the nav station, says they've just had the 0700 sched, and they look pretty good. He points out their position vs. the other boats: Scallywag, TTToP, then the other pack of boats about 20 miles south. Good to be further north. In 24, 48 hours it's good to be further north. "Certainly a more seamanlike [i.e., safety-conscious] way to go about it." Charlie, below, talks about "the weather, Friday, looks pretty fresh with nowhere to run." Setting yourself to be in the right place in three days' time in 50 knots of wind is more important. Simon shows the scary low on the computer forecast. Have to be careful to not get into a position where the wind and sea state are so bad you're pushed against the ice gate and have to slow down. Charlie: "Have to watch the weather pretty closely to make sure we don't find ourselves in a bad spot." Drone shot from ahead with the sunset behind them.On deck at night, Horace chants the cadence on shifting a sail on the stack. Horace: "One, two, move!" Carolijn coils a line in preparation for the gybe. Helmsman (Charles?) reaches through the wheel to activate the keel control, and the engine starts to power the hydraulics. The boat turns to port, heels to starboard, and the main comes across as the crew grinds on the pedestal. Per the tracker, this is the gybe they made at 0136 UTC. Carolijn: "The windward sheet's really tight, eh?" Below, Marie talks to Jérémie: "It was a windy start of the leg, but now it's 25 [knots of wind]; it's fine. We are happy but we are... more focused to do a good job of safe things on board. So it's better; it's relax."Martin on the stern as TTToP surfs on starboard gybe. Martin: "This is one of the best moments in the race. We've just left all the marks, all the shit (?)... stack is up, and now we're sending it; 30 knots." Major washing machine shots looking forward into the sunset, looking aft, mast-cam view of the stern and the wake with the person on the helm (Francesca?) working hard as they surf. Bianca on the cockpit sole being helped up by Liz after being washed off the stack, which inflated her PFD. Bianca, panting and dripping under the coaming: "So I just went to windward to go and get the halyard to tie it off, sat in front of the winch to try and clear it, just as the wave came and took me out. But I was clipped on, mom; don't worry." She laughs. Slomo shots of sending it, wide-angle shot showing Dee on the helm and another boat (Vestas?) crossing their bow; then changes to slomo shot of spray. Liz clipping in and climbing out the sheet to the clew of the Fractional 0; Martin helps her back on board. Slomo washing machine shots in the cockpit. Slomo spray and grinding with sunset in background. Epic stuff.Shot of Mark on the bow looking at Gibraltar as they approach it. SiFi talks about how they're coming into Gibraltar, and it's going to get pretty busy. SiFi: "We've got current against, and then the wind is going to build a lot; probably 30-35 knots... It's going to be an exciting few hours, but we've just gotta make sure we get through it in good shape, don't break anything and look after the boat and the people." Shots of the shore, cockpit shot with waves coming over the bow (washing machine), Stacey Jackson on the grinder with setting sun behind her. Slowmo shots of grinding, spray.