• Into The Southern Hemisphere

    Sitting in the Nav Station on-board Azzam, SiFi again surveys what looks like colored spaghetti; this time thrown on a map of the South Atlantic Ocean. Each colored line marks a different routing to Cape Town. At last count there were over 15.
    As the watches tick by and all 8 sailors on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing take their turn between racing on deck and resting below, at various times each one has had a look at the spaghetti.

    Ian takes his turn at the screen narrowing in on an area of light wind the High is predicted to churn out lying directly in our path. In three days time, there’s every possibility the fleet will again “restart” and all our gains are for naught.

    Matt Knighton, OBR
    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

    Al’s diner has been revoked of its 5 stars of late. Not for its hygiene standards, which could also be marginal as we run out of cleaning products. It’s varied menu of 7 days has worn thin with locals here on Vestas Wind. I started to have complaints a couple of days ago with comments from deck.

    We have started the conversation too early people say, but Cape Town and its steaks are soon going to be a priority. It’s strange how food can become an ever increase consumption of your free time. We think about it all the time, especially Tom Johnson.
    Not a massively fussy eater but he likes what he likes; freeze-dried is not his thing. I asked today what the national dish of South Africa was; no one quite got it. The dish is called Bobotie, an amazing simple dish to create; minced beef, sweet honey, spices, all cooked up with an egg like crust to top the dish. Oven baked for an hour you have something special. I highly recommend those family and friends who come to Cape Town try this dish. Amazing!

    Brian Carlin, OBR
    Team Vestas Wind

    We’re seeing stronger winds all the time and we’re beginning to put up some quick numbers through the water. Everyone’s having fun in the new conditions but since the Equator antics there is noticeably less “chatter” on deck and the guys seem ready to take it to the next level. The watch system finally has some real estate to settle into—straight line sailing is something we haven’t had much of to date—and as boring as staying on one tack for a week can be, it really helps with routines and rhythms, with getting some rest for the challenging week ahead.

    Amory Ross, OBR
    Team Alvimedica

    “Life on board is much like living on a mountain, on skis,” Sally said. “And you have to cook, eat, sleep, and work on this mountain. It’s not easy.”
    Imagine boiling teakettles on this mountain, and the mountain moves left and right, up and down, and then pouring the boiling water into a food pot. You end up having way too much faith on a slippery pair of wet shoes—the only thing preventing you from catapulting into the empty bunks below with the boiling water.

    I cannot tell if I’m too tall for the galley or too short—am I supposed to cook on my knees? I understand my entire job is a job hazard, however on the scale of job hazards it is the galley that scares me the most.

    Corinna Halloran, OBR
    Team SCA

    Charles and Pascal are watching the weather, and are beginning to have a vague idea of ​​how long it will take us to get to Cape Town. Much too early to predict a precise date of arrival, but what we can see is that with the high pressure ahead, it will not be very fast. The advantage of such a situation is that the game is open - and there will probably be opportunities. The downside is that it diminishes the rest time between maneouvres - an important thing to bear in mind when we know that we still have eight months of racing ahead.

    Yann Riou, OBR
    Dongfeng Race Team


    We have Alvimedica sailing behind us and they don’t allow us to make any mistakes. During the night, in one of the watches, we tried to sail at a higher level to gain some miles to the east but that made us sail 1.5 knots slower and we lost some distance on them. There are no breaks here. You give them an inch and they take a mile.
    Here, all the boats have the same. They’re all one-design - the same boat, the same sails. Only the ones who know how to sail better will gain that extra mile. Sailors have a very strong role to play and the pressure on them is big. Despite this, the crew is doing very well, they are all very healthy, and hopeful of improving the situation we find ourselves in today.

    Francisco Vignale, OBR
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race started by PD Staff View original post