Overall standings: Team AISM 1st, BAE Systems 2nd, EFG Bank (Monaco) 3rd – Short race leg brings drama in the dark for crews -
Dubai-based Team AISM has maintained the overall lead by claiming the fourth leg of the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour following a night of drama for the world-class crews from around the world and the Gulf region competing between Dubai and northern Emirate Ras Al Khaimah.At only 53 miles up the coast from Dubai to Al Hamra is the second shortest leg on the bruising 15 day and 760 nautical mile EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour and should have been routine. But due to Custom’s procedures in Dubai taking longer than anticipated, the scheduled mid-morning start was delayed until 14:50, forcing crews to re-equip themselves and their boats ready for a night time finish.The result was a race of intense fighting in darkness with the wind ranging from zero to as much as 17 knots, with the boats reaching or sailing downwind with Bertrand Pace’s overall leader, AISM, continually a nose ahead. Following AISM into Al Hamra were the youthful Team Messe Frankfurt led by Marcel Herrera and in third team BAE Systems.Yet the finishing order does little to tell of the drama that unfolded for the teams at around 20 miles out from the finish and an hour and a half after it turned dark. Just at a time when the boats were being pushed to limit sailing high under their big spinnakers, the fleet came across an area densely populated with fishing boats and their nets.
As Cedric Pouligny, skipper of BAE Systems described the high jump manoeuvre they had to perform each time they ran into a net: “Basically you went from 10 knots of speed to zero, then you had to broach and make even more heel before the boat could get off again.” Broaching normally occurs when a boat is overpowered in a gust, the rudder loses control and the boat is forced over on its side, but was necessary on this occasion effectively to lift the keel over the net.Unfortunately the result on this leg was determined by those who got through the fishing nets the fastest.
Speaking following another action-packed leg and night of drama Issa Al Ismaili, Director of Events at the race’s organiser Oman Sail said:“Firstly congratulations to team ASIM who continue to prove best equipped to deal with every challenge the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour offers including on this occasion fishing nets. Obviously such a test at night was not planned for. But that is sailing and this world-class regatta is having to overcome unique challenges on every single leg. Even this leg to Al Hamra at only 53 miles, the second shortest on the race schedules has pushed crews to face the unknown. We’re delighted all have made it safely to Ras Al Khaimah and our preparing themselves for the next round of in-port racing.” After their disappointing result on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai leg yesterday, Marcel Herrera’s University of Plymouth team on Messe Frankfurt had managed to get back in with the lead trio and were into fourth place when they encountered the nets. “I think we hit eight fishing nets – along with every other boat, but the other boats seemed to broach a bit more when they hit them,” said Herrera. “We ploughed through them and managed to get a good technique going so that we didn’t get caught.”Because of this Messe Frankfurt emerged in second place and as the wind dropped subsequently they were closing on first placed AISM as they crossed the finish line at 21:49 (local time), three and a half minutes after Pace’s team. “It makes up for yesterday,” said Herrera.AISM crewman Benoit Briand said that through the day their speed was good and being ahead they had been able to control their opponents before they encountered the fishing nets. “We were lucky that we got over them quite easily, our keel seemed to pass over the nets.”
The AISM team was also pleased that Messe Frankfurt came home second as it puts more distance between themselves and second placed BAE Systems in the overall results. “Bertrand is going to be even more difficult to beat. He is going to be hard to catch,” admitted BAE Systems skipper Cedric Pouligny.One of the most dramatic moments occurred when team BAE Systems and EFG Bank (Monaco) got caught on the same fishing net at the same time and started to get drawn into the middle of the net so that at one point they came very close to colliding, only 2m apart.
Mohsin al Busaidi’s Renaissance came home in fifth place. The Omani skipper, the first sailor from the Middle East to sail non-stop around the world, reckoned that his team had hit maybe seven nets. “We got stuck in the first one. It was a surprise because we were all together and only two boats got stuck and other boats got through.” Al Busaidi’s solution was speed: “If you are going more than 10 knots you can pass it. We stopped once for three or four minutes and at other times we were slowed down from 10 knots to 5 and then we were off again. Fortunately Mohammed in our team is a fisherman…”
Most disappointed last night when they got in was Dee Caffari’s women’s team on Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat and Kay Heemskerk’s Dutch team on TU Delft. Having been caught in nets and then further suffering after the wind went light, they finished outside of the time limit and have been scored ‘TLE’ (time limit expired) or seven points for this leg.“It was disappointing that we didn’t get to start until five hours late and then to sail through miles of fishing nets in the dark,” said Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat’s Liz Bayliss, one of two Americans in the all-female team that also includes four Omanis.Their race effectively came to a grinding halt when they got entangled in a fishing net and remained that way for more than an hour. “We hit something and then we got stuck – the fishing boat finally came over to us and cut the net but retrieved both ends of it. There were nets everywhere,” Bayliss continued.
After the late finish the two in-port races are being held today off Al Hamra with the first start attended by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown prince of RAK and commencing at 11.00am.
Competing aboard identical Farr 30 yachts, the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour has attracted nine crews representing five different nations, led locally by Oman’s Team Renaissance, Royal Navy of Oman, Team BAE Systems and the all – female Team Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat. Two teams will compete on behalf of the UAE, Team Abu Dhabi and Team AISM. International crews include EFG Bank (Monaco), Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft (Holland) and the Team Messe Frankfurt (EU).
Taking in four countries and eight ports of call, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour is a showcase of everything that the Gulf has to offer in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and idyllic sailing conditions Leaving Manama on February 10th, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour calls at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba and Mussanah and ends February 25th in Muscat. The racing will include in-port racing at selected locations
After a grueling 52-hour selection process, seven British sailors from the 16 participating in the Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials have now been recruited to join the Development Squad. They are Ollie Bond (31, Hamble), Henry Bomby (20, Kingswear), Aaron Cooper (22, Southampton), Robert Gullan (25, Southampton), Lizzy Foreman (21, Worcester Park), Robin Elsey (19, Turo), Sam Matson (20, Ottery St Mary).
The annual Selection Trials were staged from 26th September to 2nd October, at Wokefield Park and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Sixteen hopefuls were split into two groups for 52-hours of intense challenges to identify those who had the potential to be a first class short-handed sailor. “It was a difficult decision as we are not only looking for sailors with extraordinary talent, potential and commitment, but they also have to be at the right stage of their career to benefit from the Academy training programme,” explained Rod Carr, ex-CEO of the Royal Yachting Association, who leads the Artemis Offshore Academy Advisory Board. “The Artemis Offshore Academy has a similar structure to the successful RYA Olympic Sailing programmes and has started to show signs of success with 2011 graduates Phil Sharp finishing in 18th place in the Solitaire du Figaro, the highest placed finish for a British sailor in the history of the race, and Sam Goodchild who will be making his debut in the grueling double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race.”
The judges, who included record-breaking round the world yachtswoman Dee Caffari, were looking for candidates with good racing skills and the ability to perform under pressure. Physical fitness, mental strength and their ability to manage their sleep and food intake were key factors in their assessment, as well as their overall potential to succeed in short-handed racing. It was a tough programme with the candidates, on average, only managing 4.5 hours sleep in total over the two and a half days. “I was really impressed with how hard these guys have worked,” said Caffari. “If I think back to when I started, I spent years acquiring all the facets of what it takes to make a solo offshore sailor and the Artemis Offshore Academy are offering it in one programme. It’s an amazing opportunity and I would have loved to have signed up back when I started!”
2011 – 2012 Development Squad* with John Thorn © Lloyd Images
Aaran Cooper, Ollie Bond and Henry Bomby will join the Development Squad from the end of the month. They begin their training at the specialist Figaro training facility, the Centre d’Entrainement Mediterranée in La Grande Motte, in France. Cooper is delighted to have been selected for the new Development Squad: “It was a real heart in mouth moment when I was told I was selected. I realised I was going to be part of the team and would have some fantastic opportunities ahead of me,” said Cooper. “It’s a real step on the ladder towards progressing my solo sailing towards the ultimate goal of racing in a Vendée Globe.”
Part of the Development Squad programme has been adapted for the new Squad members who are currently attending University: “To be given the opportunity to join the squad and train with the Artemis Offshore Academy around my studies means that I can finish my university degree whilst working towards my long-term goal which is a fantastic opportunity,” commented Lizzy Foreman. Foreman, Robert Gullan, Robin Elsey and Sam Matson will be on an 18-month training programme with an aim to be ready to race in the Mini Class or Figaro Circuit in 2013.
The new Squad on Figaro 23 © Lloyd Images
The candidates who attended the Selection Trials ranged from a solo round-the-world sailor to dinghy sailors, match racers to crewed keelboat racers. The judges had to make the tough decision on who would make it through. John Thorn, Performance Director explains: “We saw a diverse group of sailors with very mixed backgrounds. Some sailors excelled in certain areas but still need to develop skills in weaker areas, and with feedback from us we hope those unsuccessful applicants will spend the next year furthering their knowledge with some guidance from us before re-applying next year.”
The Development Squad will be training this winter in the south of France. All the sailors will be training together as a team, as well as working on their own tailor-made programmes. The sailors will undergo training not only in racing but also meteorology, navigation, onboard systems, boat maintenance, sponsorship procurement, French language and fitness. Once individual needs have been assessed, a more detailed plan will be released, including details of the 2012 racing programme.
Meet the 2011-2012 Development Squad here.
In recognition of her service to the sea and Britain’s maritime heritage, record-breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari MBE has been appointed by the Royal Navy as an Honorary Commander.
Caffari, who set her third world record earlier this year by sailing non-stop around the planet more times than any other woman in history, joins the likes of adventurer Bear Grylls and fellow British yachtswoman Dame Ellen McArthur who have both received similar naval distinctions. On receiving the news that her appointment had been approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a delighted Caffari said:
“It is an honour to be recognised for my achievements and support of the armed forces. I have enjoyed the links I have established and maintained with the Royal Navy and look forward to being presented with my uniform! Having not worn a uniform since school, I am excited about preparing for my role at Dartmouth, being fitted with a uniform and learning to salute correctly”
One of the main links Caffari has with the navy is through her work as an ambassador for the tri service initiative, Toe In The Water. The volunteer based charity uses competitive sailing as a direct extension of the rehabilitation programmes carried by the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court to re-inspire profoundly and traumatically injured service personnel to explore life beyond their injuries. Caffari first competed with Toe in the Water at the Dartmouth Regatta in 2009 and has continued to work closely with them since them, racing alongside many injured and able-bodied Royal Navy and Royal Marines crew members, as well as soldiers and airmen.
Director General of Army Medicine and Toe in the Water Chairman, Major General M von Bertele OBE commented:
“Dee has been a great inspiration to many of our injured servicemen and women and her energy, genuine enthusiasm and commitment to the work we do is invaluable. It’s great to see her dedication and passion recognised in this way.”
Caffari’s next goal is to compete in the Vendée Globe 2012 with the intention of securing a podium position and the search for a new title sponsor to support her on-going sailing campaign continues.
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and Spanish co skipper Anna Corbella onboard their yacht, GAES Centros Auditivos, have crossed the finish line of the Barcelona World Race at 08:17hrs (BST) on 13 April 2011, both having achieved a world record.
For Caffari this marks her third race around the globe and thrusts her into the record books as the woman that has sailed non-stop around the planet more times than any other in history. Corbella also sets her own record as the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. The only all female crew to participate in the Barcelona World Race finished in sixth place, from a starting fleet of fourteen.
Having spent 102 days at sea, the GAES girls were thrilled to see a flotilla of boats ready to welcome them off the Barceloneta beach. Dee Caffari, 38, and Anna Corbella, 34, have been supported by Spanish hearing aid company, GAES and the world’s sixth largest insurance group, Aviva.
Caffari and Corbella were surrounded by supporter boats as they crossed the finish line triumphantly. An exhilarated Caffari said:
“Sailing around the world just once in a lifetime is an amazing experience. To circumnavigate the planet non-stop for a third time and set another world record is an absolute privilege. Every time you go down to the Southern Ocean and expose yourself to the extremes of nature you test your luck and, fortunately, mine has held so far. I am hoping that good fortune will continue as I am not finished with round the world sailing just yet!”
Caffari’s next goal is to compete in the Vendée Globe 2012 with the intention of securing a podium position and the search for a new title sponsor to support her ongoing sailing campaign continues.
On becoming the first Spanish woman to sail non-stop around the world, Anna Corbella said:
“It is very emotional to finish in my home city after sailing around the world and passing the three great capes nonstop. The journey has not been easy but the reward could not be bigger.”
“I am delighted for Anna who has achieved something very special onboard GAES Centros Auditivos. To become the first Spanish woman to sail around the world non-stop will make her an inspiration to many others. It has been an incredible opportunity for me to have achieved a world first and to have helped Anna accomplish her own record on our journey together”
Dee Caffari, entered the record books in May 2006 when she became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop the ‘wrong’ way around the world (against the prevailing winds and currents). Caffari went on to achieve a double world first three years later by becoming the only woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions when she completed the Vendee Globe race on 14th February 2009. The Barcelona World Race has allowed Caffari to achieve one more non-stop lap of the planet and add another world record to her prestigious sailing achievements.
The Barcelona World Race was not all plain sailing for the GAES girls as three weeks ago they discovered damage to a main structural ringframe of the boat. The repair necessitated that Caffari cut into the ballast tank to mend both sides of the damaged area in the hope that the temporary fix would last to the end of the race. Although under race rules a technical stop was allowed and indeed seven boats (50% of the fleet) took advantage of that fact for a variety of reasons, Caffari and Corbella were determined that they complete the race as a non-stop course.
Antonio Gasso, CEO of GAES said:
“For Gaes it is an historic milestone to have participated in an adventure that has seen Anna and Dee become the first all female crew to sail around the world non-stop in the Barcelona World Race. We are extremely proud to support this fantastic team.”
Sarah Loughran, Head of Corporate Sponsorship at Aviva commented:
“Dee’s achievements are a testament to her courage, determination and ability and we are thrilled to have played a role in that inspirational journey. We have supported Dee since the start of her first non stop round the world trip in 2005 and to be able to welcome her home six years later as the woman who has completed that voyage more times than any other makes everyone at Aviva incredibly proud.”
Currently sixth in the rankings, record breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella are the only all female crew taking part in the race and will each establish two world records when they complete the race. Dee will become the only female sailor to have sailed non-stop around the world more times than any other in history. Anna Corbella will become the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the globe non-stop.
Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella were about 25 miles off Cartagena this morning in light conditions making just 4-5 kts, with 294 miles to make to the finish line.
It was Jean Pierre Dick, double winner of the Barcelona World Race, who said in the Mediterranean that Barcelona needs to be earned, and after their downwind approach thorugh Gibraltar and the Alboran, Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella are having a final reminder of JP’s belief. As if they needed it after 101 days racing. But the GAES Chicas have had another transition of light winds to go through and are now in light upwind conditions with 294 miles to go to the finish at 0300hrs this morning UTC. So depending on wind, still a late Tuesday, maybe Wednesday finish for Dee and Anna.
“My arms are certainly telling me so too. We knew the Mediterranean would make uswork for the final few miles and we were not wrong.” Dee Caffari writes this morning, “The first transition has been dealt with and fortunately we were only becalmed for a couple of hours. We are now sailing upwind in flat water.The mileage is ticking by but quite slowly now we are having to tack to make our course. I think in the last twenty four hours we have done more manouevres than in the whole of the Southern Ocean.”
Hugo Boss are level with Madeira and will be contemplating when they tack across. They are making 11.5kts.
Forum Maritim Catala are 360 miles SWW of the Cabo Verde Islands upwind in 15-16 kts trade winds, while We Are Water are still a bit compromised in terms of northwards progress as they are beating up the Brasilian coast only 150-180 miles off.
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and Spanish co skipper, Ann Corbella, are pushing hard to reach Gibraltar and the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea by Saturday evening. The GAES girls are hoping for relatively straight line sailing to the last milestone in the Barcelona World Race before they begin tackling the fickle conditions of the Mediterranean on their approach to the finish line.
Commenting on this last stretch of the race, Caffari said:
“After Gibraltar, all that stands between us and Barcelona is the tricky Mediterranean. It will provide complex and changeable weather and we will most likely experience downwind conditions, then becalmed, then upwind sailing. We will certainly be working hard for the final miles but with the promise of Diet Coke and pizza at the finish, we will be pushing hard!”
The only all female duo are approximately four days from the finish line and setting two new world records.
Caffari will shortly complete her third race around the globe and, on successful completion, will become the only woman to have sailed around the planet three times non-stop – more times than any other woman in history. Catalan sailor, Corbella, will also claim her own world record as the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the globe non-stop.
At the 0900hrs ranking, Caffari and Corbella maintain their 6th place position in the Barcelona World Race. Virbac-Paprec 3 and Mapfre have finished the race in first and second place respectively, with Renault Z.E. expected to claim the final place on the podium later today.
Aviva has been a longstanding supporter of Dee Caffari and her inspirational record breaking sailing achievements, assisting her to three world records including becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop, around the world in both directions. As Founding Partner of Caffari’s sailing campaign, Aviva is pleased to extend this support to Corbella and GAES for the Barcelona World Race.
There was a sense of triumph for the all female duo aboard GAES Centros Auditivos as they crossed the Equator into the Northern Hemisphere yesterday morning. The GAES girls are now just under 3,000 miles from the finish line and toasted Neptune one last time on this race to request safe onward passage to their final destination of Barcelona. Caffari and Corbella were also celebrating the completion of the repair to the damaged ballast tank over the weekend which involved slowing the boat right down to avoid too much movement. The duo then had to take it easy for a further 48 hours before they were satisfied that the repair was strong enough to withstand normal racing conditions.
Commenting on completion of the repair, Caffari said:
“I am relieved that we have completed the repair and hope that we have done good enough job for it to withstand the final miles of the race. We had gained miles on the boats ahead before our slow down and then lost them all again and some which was pretty frustrating, however, we did take full advantage of the conditions with Anna climbing the mast to carry out a rig check.”
Project Manager, Joff Brown, added:
“The girls have done a great job on the repair, and really we just need to keep our fingers crossed. We’re pretty confident it should be ok, but when you’re doing repairs at sea with limited materials, it’s really difficult to estimate how reliable it’s going to be. However, we’ve had really good results in the past with the special Sicomin Resin we use for working in damp and wet conditions, so it should be ok. They’ve just got to try and judge the conditions onboard really, try and avoid the big repeated slams and maybe throttle back if conditions are bad. Unfortunately they’re now upwind for most of what’s left of the race.”
At the 0900hrs ranking, Caffari and Corbella maintain their 6th place position. The Barcelona Word Race continues to be led by Virbac-Paprec 3, who are now a little over 1000 miles from the finish line. Mapfre are in second place with Renault Z.E. holding third.
Virbac-Paprec 3 in ‘ghost’ mode
We Are Water prepare for the worst case scenario
Renault Z.E. third into northern hemisphere
‘Let’s play!’ commented Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) from Virbac-Paprec 3 this morning as they entered ‘stealth’ mode at 1000hrs (UTC). Their position or rankings will not be visible for 36 hours, ensuring that their movements will remain hidden from view by the fleet and nearest rivals MAPFRE.
Tactically the forthcoming upwind section of Atlantic raises an interesting dilemma for the front-runners, and particularly for MAPFRE, 244 miles behind in this morning’s 0500hrs position report. The Azores High is expanding east-west across the north Atlantic, creating a large obstacle on the way to the Mediterranean. Whilst taking a westerly route looks like an unworkable tactic given the considerable extra mileage involved, the issue of when to tack east to avoid the centre of the anticyclone remains uncertain.
The GRIB files show stronger winds near the coast so by tacking early towards North Africa they will reach better pressure soonest, but will be sailing an unfavorable angle for longer. Carry on heading north as long as they dare and they will benefit from lifting pressure, but are at risk of getting trapped by the light winds at the centre of the high, while taking a ‘middle road’ between the two means avoiding the light winds in the lee of the Canary Islands. When to tack in, and when to tack back out? Timing will be everything, and by selecting stealth mode Virbac-Paprec 3 are hiding the clues for MAPFRE.
Battening the hatches
The situation is more serious on We Are Water. “The barometer has gone down to 956mb, we are preparing for the worst possible scenario,? emailed Jaume Mumbru (ESP) this morning, as he and Cali Sanmarti prepared to ride out what Barcelona World Race meteorologist Marcel van Triest predicted could be the worst Southern Ocean storm of the race due to a deep low pressure system.
The weather forecast for the area they are sailing in for the next 18 hours is severe: a south-westerly gale of 45-60 knots, gusting 75: a Force 12. In conjunction with the strong winds, huge seas are also predicted with a 9-12 metre swell. Heavy rain, squalls, and even snow are all likely as the winds are blowing directly from Antarctica, bringing bitingly cold dense air which makes the conditions all the more intense.
Jaume Mumbru reported from the boat around 1500hrs this afternoon that they were running away from the gale under storm jib only with zero mainsail, in around 55 knot (63mph or 101 km/h) winds. The pair were safely inside the boat, which was making around 11 knots in a north-easterly direction, and reported that although conditions were intensely cold, the wave pattern was better than anticipated with no confused cross-seas.
Battle for bronze
Just 118 miles divide the third to fifth-placed boats this afternoon as Renault Z.E., Estrella Damm and Neutrogena sweat it out in the Doldrums, where temperatures are soaring to over 30 degrees inside, making sleep during daytime almost impossible for some.
Renault Z.E. became the third boat to re-enter the northern hemisphere at 1445 (UTC) this afternoon, in what so far appears to be a relatively benign Doldrums crossing. Just 76 miles behind, Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes (ESP) remain solid in fourth, ahead of Ryan Breymaier (USA) and Boris Herrmann (GER) on Neutrogena. Ryan Breymaier explained today:
“There are position reports every six hours and I’m always looking on the map to see how many more miles we still have to cover, how fast, and when we’ll arrive. There are lots of things that can affect the rankings, the weather can change things quickly and as we saw from the start of the race the Mediterranean is not very easy for anyone to manage so we hope to be close to each other and still able to earn miles on them. But we don’t think too much about third place as I think with our damaged keel it’s going to be too difficult to get near enough.?
At 535 miles behind, Dee Caffari (GBR) and Anna Corbella (ESP) on GAES Centros Auditivos are also anticipating the light winds, as they require flat water to make laminating repairs to their leaking ballast tank. Instead they have experienced fluctuating and unpredictable breezes that Dee Caffari this morning described as a ‘practice Doldrums’, but are this afternoon once again making 10 knots.
Having exited yesterday’s brief but fierce low pressure system, Forum Maritim Catala and Hugo Boss are the fastest of the fleet over the past 24 hours, with just under 200 miles dividing the pair. With the depression having rapidly moved south-east, the race is now on for both to make sufficient ground north to avoid the chasing high and accompanying light winds. Forum Maritim Catala having gained over 80 miles on Hugo Boss over the past 24 hours, and the competition between the two is yet to be settled.
Standings at 1400hrs Wednesday 23rd March, 2011
1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 in ‘ghost’ mode
2 MAPFRE at 3066,6 miles from the finish
3 RENAULT Z.E at 887,5 from the MAPFRE
4 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 963,5 miles
5 NEUTROGENA at 1005 miles
6 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 1540,8 miles
7 HUGO BOSS at 3558,1 miles
8 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 3749,4 miles
9 WE ARE WATER at 5462,2 miles
10 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at 9371,2 miles
RTD GROUPE BEL
Quotes from today’s skippers:
Dee Caffari (GBR), GAES Centros Auditivos:
“It’s like a practice for the Doldrums that we’ve had. It’s a bit frustrating because we still can’t sail the boat at 100 per cent because we’re waiting to do the big repair, and yet we’re still really struggling with the conditions. But today’s been much better.
“I need to laminate some carbon over some damage in our ballast tanks that are structural to the boat. So we can’t sail the boat at 100 per cent because we’re upwind and we can’t afford the cracks to open up. But we can’t do the repair unless we’re in flat water to allow it to stick, so it’s a case of really looking after the boat.?
Ryan Breymaier (USA), Neutrogena:
“The Doldrums are going very well thus far, knock on wood. We have between 5 and 10 knots out of the breeze and it’s not stopped yet, so hopefully that continues.
“In these lighter conditions we’re not as compromised as we will be later on when there’s more wind and waves, so we’re pretty happy to be keeping up now and are differently worried about what’s going to happen when we get into the stronger upwind trade wind conditions a little later on. There is no real plan for it, the boat is the condition that it’s in and we do the best we can with what we have. At the moment that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re going to continue to do – you know you can’t change reality, and the reality is we are not capable to cant the keel to the maximum and that compromises our speed all the time, Boris and I have accepted that and we just get on with our day to day work.
“The sun is an issue every day. Right now in the cabin it’s 32 degrees and outside it’s probably 36, I don’t know – a lot! For me more than Boris I get burned very easily and I have factor 50 suncream at least every day and wear hats and that kind of stuff, so it’s a real problem for sure, especially in this area. I would’ve told you six weeks ago that the heat really bothered me a lot, but it was awfully cold down in the south for a long period of time! But all things considered though I would say the heat is worse than the cold though, and I think Boris agrees with me.?