A short stopover in New Zealand only gave us a few days to recoup from our grueling leg from China. The boats were beat up, the crews could have used another week to recover, and given the forecast, the odds were stacking up against us that it would be damaging. A forecast for the first 24 hours of a leg is typically very accurate, but from there on out, it’s usually much less so. When you get to Day 10 all bets are off. This time, however, that wasn’t the case. Our team meteorologist, Chris Bedford, who briefs us four days before the start, had a different tone to his voice. The forecast wasn’t changing during that four-day build up, and his message—loud and clear—was to prepare to get our butts kicked. “Really fast and really windy,” he kept saying.