May 2014

There’s been a slight delay in getting answers back from the crew over the last 10 days or so but they have finally appeared out of the Jamaican ‘rum fog’ and we have managed to catch up with on board sail doctor and rounder the worlder John Madin, a business consultant from the UK.

As the team's sail doctor you have one of the most important jobs on board. What is the first thought that goes through your mind when you see (or hear below decks) one of PSP Logistics' spinnakers blow?

Well the answer I would like to give you is unprintable. I saw 'Brucie' (our lightweight and largest spinnaker) split in Leg 2 on the way to Cape Town. A huge cloud of depression came over me because I knew we had a least two days’ work to affect anything like a repair. On at least one occasion when a spinnaker has ended up in the water, my heart rate has increased, I’ve had visions of little sleep and the very thought of attempting to bring life into the sewing machine has nearly put me into cardiac arrest. And then there’s the huge relief when the sail is confirmed to be still in one piece! Even the smallest tear that requires stitching can take a couple of hours. But so far from San Francisco up to New York we have had few problems, although the skipper kept me busy in San Francisco as I had to sew the heavyweight kite that was damaged in the North Pacific before we set sail.

Sorry to hear you had to take a bit of time out due to a back injury. What was it like being an armchair follower of the race between Singapore and San Francisco and how have you found re-adapting to life back on board PSP Logistics?

Thank you. I have a simple answer…fantastic…although I wasn't in an armchair. I spent a few more days in Singapore before flying back to the UK. I met up with some previous ‘leggers’ in London for a meal and general catch up. I went to see the plays '1984' and '12 Angry Men' and even a ballet in my home town of Sheffield. It was a huge disappointment that I couldn't re-join the race in Qingdao. I wasn't even sure whether I would be returning to the race when I landed in San Francisco as I was still waiting for confirmation from the insurers that I could continue. So, in the meantime, I took my son to Las Vegas for a week. Returning to the boat and re-adjusting to life was easy; it was as though I had never left and it was good to catch up with the crew.