03 - A hard day down at the yacht club
The day started very early with a four o’clock telephone interview with the BBC. Typically Alan found it difficult to go back to sleep, so he and Egbert hot-footed it down to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht club to do some more work on the boat.
They were under orders to have it fully fitted and ready for launching first thing Tuesday morning - a large yacht race was coming in later on. The crane driver had been booked for 0800 to lift the Yamaha engine back into place, but guess what? No crane driver. It was his day off.
After much telephoning and chasing, he turned up at midday, dropping the engine into place and vanishing by 1215. Egbert was chasing his backside organising the new glass for the reduced size front windscreens, while Alan connected up pipes and cables to the engine. There followed a brief break to pick up the TV crew who are filming the documentary, checking them into their motel.
Then it was back to the yacht club to meet Don, who has donated all the logos for the challenge. At 1745 Alan turned the ignition key on the Yamaha engine, and it burst instantly into life. Not bad for an engine that has gone around the world, been sunk overnight in St John’s harbour, frozen for six months and generally abused.
Now all we need is the same level of performance from the crew, and we’re home and dry!
© 2003 Clive Tully
The first of many Atlantic Challenge sponsor stickers is applied to the boat: