• From The Boats November 20th

    Kissing with Capey
    Can you remember one of your first dates? At the end of your date you managed to grab a kiss.

    But the next date, if you thought you could pick up where you left off, and proceed immediately to tongues, then you were wrong. You just had to start all over again! That is how it is with our navigator Andrew "Capey" Cape.

    Capey is a living legend. Gerd-Jan Poortman says, "He has so much experience. He is requested for each race. Not only doe he have a lot of wit, but he also sails very well."

    "However, he is also notoriously difficult to interview. Witty and funny, yes - but once the red light of a camera is on, he crawls into his shell."
    So don't get me wrong: I do not want to kiss Capey. For a start, the man is drinking coffee all day. Bah! And onboard, some sailors only clean their teeth once a week.

    Then there's those big rough hands that so easily turn the winch handle around. No, kissing with HIM is not on my wishlist.

    BUT... when I went to interview him at the end of Leg 1, the Australian legend was like putty in my hands. I could ask him any question and he would answer talkatively.
    Let's just say that the stop-over in Cape Town seems to have drastically reduced my chances of "kissing" Capey.

    "Why is it so hard to start in Cape Town?," I ask in good spirits just before the start.
    "Big mountain between us and the wind," he mutters without looking into the camera.

    “And what is your tactic for the start of this leg?” I reply.

    "That's a f**king book of work, mate"

    ... I click my camera off. Capey grins at me: "First, bring me a bunch of flowers," I see him thinking.

    "You know," laughs Gerd-Jan Poortman. "Capey, he doesn’t show his love easily. You need to try and hug him first before kissing."

    Eight months to go. Whatever happens: I will conquer the heart of Capey.

    Stefan Coppers
    OBR, Team Brunel

    Yann Riou
    OBR, Dongfeng Race Team

    What a start !
    Well, safe to say that was a Volvo Ocean Race departure that will stay in our memories. With fluctuating winds from 0-40 knots we have an epic sundown as we sailed away from Table Mountain – who was also dressed for the occassion with a thick cloud hanging over the top.

    From where we were standing the start looked pretty epic, we cannot wait to see the footage but I guess that’s something that will have to wait. This little journey is going to take up to 22,24,28 days – perhaps even 30 ? At least that’s how many days food we have packed.

    "The goal was to be safe. We are not first, but we manage to get out of this without breaking anything. Now we can race." (Charles)

    And that’s exactly what we did. We raced within proximity of the fleet. After a lot of manoeuvres and trimming we’ve made our way to the front of the fleet, not great to watch but it did the job. We are still sailing upwind but the boat isn’t bouncing too much.

    Have a nice day,

    Brian Carlin
    OBR, Team Vestas Wind

    I find myself once again adapting to a routine. This leg start was easier to find our groove, when you know what to expect it can be both and advantage and disadvantage.
    I woke on race day morning to Table bBy full of white roaring water, I knew there was 35+ knots out there (conditions you wouldn't even put your mother-in-law out in, no matter how much you disliked her) The fact that I had the experience of what its like to sail these boats in such conditions made it even more difficult for me. I definitely built this start up more in my mind. When we finally did leave the dock it was actually nowhere as bad as I was expecting.

    Our spectator boat threw us a little surprise also, we sailed by to see our supporters and they had a choir of singers kick up an inspirational tune to get us on our way. I have to say it was very surreal to have a choir singing at full belt as we circled them under one of the most iconic mountains in the world.

    Our start was far from ideal, technical issues caused us problems with furling the J2. Mistakes are and can be made when its blowing 35kts. We caught the pack very quickly as we all know Table Bay can be a cruel place to sail.

    Night fell very quickly and shortly we found ourselves following our usual patterns. Life becomes very simple again, 4hrs to work, 4hrs to sleep eat and rest (and that's if you can get the 4hrs).

    We are looking out our routing this morning and making decisions based on new weather models. So that’s it from me for my first short blog, no doubt I will have more information later when the first 24hrs at sea develops.

    Corinna Halloran
    OBR, Team SCA

    I will not lie: I was pretty nervous to begin leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race (Mom called it ‘Stage Fright’); I think the whole team was pretty nervous. Here we are, having confidently completed the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race—after 27 days at sea!—in waters most of us are experienced sailing in, but now we are heading into unknown territory.

    Now, we are about to sail for another 25-30 day, and for some reason that feels a bit daunting. So, before the race began (when we were still on land), it was really hitting hard that we’re only at the beginning. But when the gun went off, those feelings all disappeared.

    What a start of Leg 2! It’s pretty rare to see wind gusts up to 40 knots, and an average wind speed of 25 knots, then no wind and total “park up” (all the boats stopped in one spot), and then back up to good breeze. However, the start of Leg 2 offered all the wind conditions you could want.

    Amory Ross
    OBR, Team Alvimedica

    Well, now we know what it feels like to be shot from of a cannon! That was utter insanity. When the gun went I think there was almost no wind at all—two knots or something—but as we slowly crept out from under the shadow of Table Mountain it changed drastically and we were soon reaching off towards the first mark in almost 40 knots. Zero to one hundred, of sorts, and then back to zero, and then we were off again to the south. It was all a lot of fun but there’s no question—things were fairly marginal! “Full fever,” as they say [somewhere] in Australasia…

    Truth be told, that was probably the most dramatic way to leave Cape Town that anyone could have drafted up, like, in the history of leg departures. So unbelievably memorable. Absolutely ripping around Table Bay with the huge spectator fleet in tow, the sheer amount of water over the deck--all within their view--the closeness of the competition, and of course—the scenic backdrop: Table Mountain with the famed “table top cloud” washing down its flank. One of those things that I will never forget. I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s clarity during moments like those that I know I’ll never have doing anything else. Hard to imagine ever moving on from this race.

    But here we are! Already tired, somewhat wet, and definitely salty. Safe to say that the dust is shaken and we’re all pretty settled after a start like that. We’re now in our upwind mode, pretty quick into our routines, and excited for a good (long) leg in front of us here. As much as we enjoyed our time in lovely Cape Town we’re all pretty psyched to be back on the water again, psyched for the next opportunity to prove what we’re made of. “Hammer down,” as they say [somewhere] in America.


    Matt Knighton
    OBR, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

    Two weeks ago, when Cape Town welcomed us with open arms, we would’ve had no idea it would send us away with such a fierce goodbye. With winds gusting in Table Bay up to 40 knots, the splash around the in-port portion of the Leg 2 start was some of the hairiest sailing we’ve seen yet. Juxtapose those conditions with a magnificent view of Table Mountain at dusk and the scene was surreal—even if we were getting sandblasted in the face with cold water every wave.

    Starting another 25+ day leg isn't easy for the guys, especially when you’re the last boat around the course looking at everyone’s stern. However, Ian was more than happy to play such a wicked start conservatively so as not to break anything.
    “You didn't hear anyone in Cape Town talking about the start in Alicante”, said Ian. “We kind of knew the start was going to be pretty irrelevant so we decided to save our gear and cruise around. We saw both Mapfre and and SCA gybe onto their runners so I wouldn’t be surprised if they broke their main sail battens. Vestas might have damaged their J2. Still we feel relaxed…maybe too relaxed.”
    As the sun set, the towering coastline of South Africa lit up into colors of pink and orange as clouds fell over the cliffs. We began picking off boats slowly as our position at the back of the fleet enabled us to view the breeze down course as it played off the sails of the other boats ahead.

    Perhaps a bit of prophecy, but before the start of the race, our guest on-board, Francois (can’t spell his last name please help), Captain of the South African Springbok Rugby Team, had reminded Ian, “Remember, the only thing better than winning, is coming from behind to win.”

    Francisco Vignale

    Hi everyone, here we are back onboard Mapfre in Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi. I hope that with this blog I can transport you to our boat for a little while before your day starts.
    First and foremost, the whole crew would like to thank the offshore team for leaving the boat in perfect conditions for this new phase. To each and every one of them, a big hug and thank you!
    What a great start! 40 to 0 knots, full main, curls, J3, J2, J1, MH 0. All this in less than 1 hour after the start. An incredible atmosphere, and brilliant conditions.
    The sun has set, and we are heading south with the rest of the boats in sight. Great mood onboard, the evening is almost perfect except for a few clouds which cover the sun.
    The focus of the evening was to head south and fast, we needed to get away from the coast and variable winds.
    The two new crew members Jean Luc and Rob adapted perfectly, it shows that they have great experience and act naturally on board.
    Jean Luc had a small cut on his finger while stacking, but it is not serious and there was no need to call the doctors on land.
    On the other hand the boat feels good, feels fast upwind, and most importantly there's lots of smiles onboard.


    November 19
    November 19, 2014
    Francisco Vignale

    From the moment the wind started to increase, during the night, we’re drenched. Waves over the deck, constant spray, damped hands because of the water, wet clothes, tired faces, and the cold.
    That’s what we’ve experienced on MAPFRE on November 2.
    Things came to life, and appeared in the most unusual places. A good example is my media kit, with the cameras, lenses and accessories – it appeared at 4 in the morning, on windward, at the bow.

    November 19, 2014
    Corinna Halloran
    OBR, Team SCA

    Much like the anticipation for the arrival of the first big snowfall, for weeks we have been “patiently” waiting to arrive to the Southern Ocean—to sail in the fast, heavy conditions with the Albatross. Now it’s a reality and it’s like a dream come true for all of us. Coupled with the excitement of gaining hour by hour on the leading boats, we’ve been like little kids playing in the snow. Today, we’ve been on cloud nine.
    The waves out here are, as promised, relentless. Over and over again, cold waves crash over the bow, jumping over the cabin top, crashing into the cockpit, and bouncing off winches and sailors before heading back off the boat. Sometimes, when the foam splashes up it reaches five feet in the air. There’s water everywhere.

    We’re sailing with one of our biggest sails, the A3. We’re sailing in good pressure, keeping the boat averaging speeds of 19 knots. We’re surfing over and down waves. It’s simply amazing to be outside, sailing amongst the Albatross and other sea birds.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race started by PD Staff View original post