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Grant Winfield, another Wellingtonian, sailed on the Group 4 Securitas yacht. Like Melissa, Grant also had no sailing experience when he found out he'd be taking part! "I had no yachting experience before January last year. I trained in Wellington on weekends."

Sailing in the southern latitudes wasn't just wet and windy - it also offered its fair share of stormy conditions. "Our first storm was about ten days out," Grant says. "We went from 10 knots to 35 in about ten minutes! We went through the whole wardrobe of sails - as the wind got stronger, we'd have to drop one sail and put the new sail up."

What about the big question: would they do it all over again?

"Overall, it was a really enjoyable experience," Melissa says cautiously. "I'd still do it again, even knowing how tough it was going to be. But I think I'd do a shorter leg next time - 43 days is a long time to spend at sea."

Grant is more enthusiastic: "I am doing it again!" he says with a grin. "I'm doing the leg from Sydney to Capetown." Grant is the only New Zealander involved in the race who is continuing on after the Global Challenge has left New Zealand - check in with us for more news from Grant as the race heads for South Africa!

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