Friday 22nd November. Two days to go

Our final crew member arrived yesterday we are now six. Our skipper Vale, John E and John L, Karl, Nick and Gianni. 2 Italians one Irish one Guernsey and two Londoners of dubious descent. A  more congenial bunch you could not find in a marina bar.

The Milanto has been loaded with food and water and a modest quantity of wine to accompany the haute cuisine we are anticipating from Gianni's kitchen.

She is a sound and beautifully built piece of kit lovingly cared for and maintained. But that's enough about Nick. As for Milanto, we are all feeling really good about our choice of vessel and skipper for this adventure.

The Marina here in Las Palmas is absolutely packed. There are some 250 boats participating. In our racing  Division 2 there are about 25 boats. Competition is beginning to creep in with every boat being scrubbed and tweaked before the off. Yesterday we did our safety briefing. Today we will practice our start line sledging to ensure we secure an early advantage by undermining our competitors confidence.

We're in it to win it! We cross the start line on 24th at 1245