With the Rolling Stones blaring, Nova Scotia is back on track.


On Wednesday the crew got off to a tough start in the New York to Nova Scotia leg of the Clipper 07/08 Round the World Yacht Race when one of their sails tore and needed to be repaired.


But the crew battled back and as of yesterday sit tied for fourth as part of a leading tier of ships all within a few nautical miles of each other, battling for the lead.


Opposing ships will disappear from view entirely only to come back within metres of the Nova Scotia hours later. The crew works in shifts, working for three or four hours then sleeping for three or four hours repeated constantly throughout the day.


For a group of people who never sleep more than a few hours at a time, they’re remarkably fun to be around. It starts with the skipper, Rob McInnaly who likes to crack jokes in his wry British accent and once showed up for a skipper meeting with a coffee in hand, clip board under his shoulder … and riding on a skateboard.

The crew’s laugh-filled discussions range from wind patterns to whether cottage cheese should be banned to whether it’d be feasible to fling things at opposing yachts with a makeshift slingshot.

But when they’re racing the competitive nature comes out. Even when the ship is tilted at a steep angle (causing the writer to nearly fall into the loo not once but three times), they move around the ship with seamless efficiency to correct the sails and utilize every gust of win. Rock music flows out of a speaker above board to keep them pumped up.

In such a tight race, it’s their dedicated out-sailing of opponents that has them in the hunt for first. Of course, the other boats seem to be having fun as well. At one point a skipper quizzed one of her counterparts in a different boat over the radio, from a magazine quiz entitled “How old is your body really?”

The Nova Scotia and the rest of the fleet are set to arrive in Halifax Harbour on Sunday.