Diary of a Clipper Racer

Around the world in 333 days with Mark Osgood

Supporting my chosen charity - "Dreams Come True"

Final Diary entry, 54, added Monday 6th October 2003.

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38 - Jazzy's Watch  - July 2003 - By Jazz Black

A week into the Cape Town to Salvador race, we on Jazzy's watch thought we would give you an insight into the goings on, conversation topics and general tomfoolery that occurs for 3 hours in every 9 each day.  The key players are as follows:

Paul Coleman a.k.a Paolo/Mincer

Paolo is our watch's true Cockney Geezer and he adds a certain east end "barra boy" charm to an otherwise thoroughly civilised watch. When not driving or trimming, Paolo is perfecting his slingshot technique using our Skipper's newly acquired catapult and some mouldy carrots.  All for a good cause you understand, there is an enemy vessel out there in the fleet with which London Clipper has some "unfinished bizniz."  We are hoping that they won’t come into firing range over the coming weeks but there will certainly be a cold plate of revenge awaiting them in Brazil, all in good spirit obviously!

Kate Fletcher a.k.a Fletch/Natalie (from EastEnders) Sally Gunnel/Charlie Dimmock/Margo

Kate joined Jazzy's watch in Cape Town and is proving to be an invaluable sister in arms when contending with the testosterone fuelled banter that regularly flows onboard the good warship London.  The favourite "joke du jour" on our watch is "What do you call a woman with two black eyes?" "Nothing, you've already told her twice." You get an idea of the kind of highbrow banter that we are dealing with.  Kate currently has to contend with Paolo's accusations about the fact that she is not, as she claims, a strawberry blonde but is in fact true, unadulterated ginger.  He has so far come up on deck with strips of orange spinnaker packing wool and asked her if she is malting and has also served her strawberry blonde cake and custard, she is wearing her comedy corset 24 hours a day to avoid losing any ribs from laughing too much.

Rinaldo (Ri) Penfold

Ri is one of the more upstanding members of Jazzy's watch.  He can be relied on for intelligent conversation (occasionally) and for well researched and considered views on how the rest of the fleet are faring and what their intentions are as far as race strategy is concerned.  Another hot topic of conversation for us is Ri's girlfriend Heather who we all like very much having met her in Cape Town.  Ri also gets quite a lot of grief from us due to the fact that he lives in Jersey. There is probably no need to clarify this any further but, for the record, there is in fact another boat in the fleet called Jersey, filled with Jersey types.  Why then is Ri gracing us Londoners with his French presence?  It is actually for an extremely good reason, he has a good mate on Jersey by the name of Gareth Rigby, both Ri and Gareth joined the race at the same time and they are both hugely competitive.  The main driving force behind Ri joining London is to beat Gareth as often as possible.  There is plenty of champagne riding on it so our watch have Jersey very much in their sights.

Jazzy a.k.a Spazzy/Whale Murderer/Bottle Blonde Barbie/Munter

So far, Jazzy has been doing a good job of trying to murder/dispose of as many items as possible.  Of note so far are: two spinnakers (may be unrelated but she was at the helm when both the lightweight and medium weight kites exploded, you decide); her most evil deed to date, suspected murder of a whale (the poor beast was hit at night, at speed, taking a glancing blow and causing the boat to veer off course for a good 5 seconds.  The boat held up OK but Mr Whale is either lying belly up at the bottom of the sea or round at his mates asking for super strength Nurofen); she cant even be trusted to clean the cockpit without losing a bucket over the side.  Her intrepid antics so far include a quick trip up the mast to change a bulb in the masthead lights, only to still be there an hour later working on various other jobs involving gaffer tape and halyards.  One crewmember suggested sending up her toothbrush and duvet; it didn't go down well.  The bruises from contact with the mast are most impressive.  We are saying nothing but, with a little bit of TLC, we reckon the mast will recover too!

Jimbo a.k.a Roland Rat

Jimbo hasn't been seen so far on this race, we are guessing that he is holed up in his bunk (top heads, climbing harness required to get in), hoping that we won’t notice his absence on deck. We are all in agreement that, when he does decide to surface, he will be put on at least 3 days worth of Mother Watch duties.  His absence hasn't so far affected our performance, in fact our Skipper was heard to mention the other day that he could make a better sailor than Jimbo out of a potato peeler and a picture of John Wayne – we miss you Jimbo. (Note: complete lie, I said a pot plant and a Dutch yoghurt fork ...Rory)


Other hot topics of conversation on watch are:  Calendar poses - yes it is our intention to put together a 2004 London calendar with various risqué poses and carefully positioned boat accessories to cover our modesty – we will keep you updated; The Kill, Marry, One Night Stand game - we have plumbed the depths and have resorted to playing this game (if you don't know how to play, ask a 6 year old), the choices given to each watch member have been pretty harsh, leaving them with little option but to propose to various members of the fleet on arrival in Brazil.

We will keep you regularly updated of hot watch action (like did we go for Builders or Earl Grey tea today) as we forge on as a unified, focussed, crack racing team who's only concern is whether it will be sunny today and is it pasta or rice for supper.


Click here for diary 39 - London's Seven Wonders of the World - July 2003 - by Simon Cooper

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