Challenge: blog #3
Our first control stop of the day was Alice Springs, where we arrived around 11am. While we saw some fellow monohulls standing at the control stop, they were about 30 to 35 minutes in front of us. Martijn, our driver for the first part of the day, did a great job navigating through the urban area we had to cross!
Alice Springs is also the control stop that marks the middle of the route which means that we have already crossed half of Australia’s continent! When continuing the road, we drove by the first and at the same time last turn on our way, that either leads to the Alice Springs airport or further the Stuart Highway. Our race convoy managed to find the right way and was going quickly to the next control stop: Kulgera, close to the border to South Australia.
Even though the weather conditions were better than our strategy expected, and we build up more speed than planned, the Japanese team ‘Kogakuin’ managed to overtake us shortly before Kulgera. When we arrived, they were about 10 minutes ahead of us, pushing us down on eight position. However, later in the race, Kogakuin had an emergency control stop which gave us the chance to overtake and grab the seventh position again. During this nerve-racking time, we also celebrated another milestone: the crossing of the border to South Australia!
After another 140km and 1099km away from the finish line in Adelaide, we stopped on the side of the road to set up camp. This was easier said than done, since the winds around Coober Pedy – the area we were in – are strong. While building up our tents and trying to get Green Lightning in the sun, which was hidden behind some thick clouds, we found ourselves in the middle of a sandstorm! By the time all tents were standing, the provisional workspace was built up and food was ready, everyone was exhausted and ready to end the day with some hours of sleep.
The start of the fourth race day was windy and cold, the first time during the whole challenge. We managed to get ready 45 minutes before the actual start of the race and catch a lot of sun since the sky was blue and cloudless. Because of the strong winds and very cloudy weather forecast, we are driving in a slow pace to Coober Pedy, our next control stop.
Do you want to know how the rest of the fourth race day will be? Read our blog about it tomorrow and follow our socials to always stay up-to-date!