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Posts Tagged ‘bouwe bekking’

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Bouwe3M
From Bouwe Bekking straight to you; just as Brunel makes their move for the lead; more here, and Stefan Coppers photo.

It is not the door bell who is ringing, but the boys of Dongfeng have been knocking now for 18 days in a row on our boat. The sun comes up and there they are again in full glory. It seems like our navigators have exactly the same way of approaching this leg.  One crucial point was just about 1 degree north of the equator. Capey, our navigator woke me: “hey listen, a small low is developing just northwest of us, I think we should crack 30 degrees down.” He had my full attention, an all of a sudden 30 degree course change doesn’t happen very often, especially not that it didn’t appear in any of the other predictions from previous days. But the GFS ( low res model) and the EC ( hi res model) were actually for the first time completely in line. A quick chat going through the scenarios and the order was given to come 30 degrees down, meaning a sail change in the mean time.

A couple of minutes later, same procedure on Dongfeng, pffff, a bit of a relieve and pressure of our shoulders. This was the option to buffalo girl the arabs, who had slowly been pushing more and more west. The more easterly route predicted clearly an easier transition into the NE Monsoon, and within 30 hours we knew if it would pay off.  The transition was painfull, first of all we looked glamorous, making an 8 mile gain in 45 minutes on the chinese by
riding the edge of a cloud in pouring rain. But that same cloud became our worst nightmare, when it overtook us. We parked.  Two hours laters an 8 mile lead had evaporated and worse, turned into a deficit of 8 miles. Capey and myself looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, this shit can happen.

The transition indeed worked better for us than the arabs in the west. Sometimes when you are leading for a while you think you have a golden D..and are invincible   and nothing can go wrong, but it can bite you sometimes as well. Over the last two days, slowly but surely  we have been grinding the Chinese back, the big code is up and playing with staysails. A good point is: we are a faster than in leg 1 in these conditions and learned heaps. Also nice to be in the lead again, always good for the moral.  We start actually practicing throwing dices, as we will need to throw heaps of  double 6′s, that will bring us good luck once in the strait of Hormuz. It will be pure casino, hopefully the dingdong bell will sound for us hitting the jackpot.

Cheers,
Bouwe

 

December 7th, 2014 by admin

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DeRidderVOD65As the entire world (or maybe just a few thousand die-hard ocean racing fans on the SA Forums) waits for the identity of the mysterious skipper behind the 7th and final Volvo Ocean Race team, just the other day,  former Mean Machine owner Peter De Ridder got behind the helm of one of the VOD65s and, if you believe the look on his face, had a hell of a time.

If you’re new to this whole game, De Ridder made plenty of noise on the international one-design and box rule circuits, with highly successful and well-oiled Mean Machine Farr 40, Mumm 30, and TP52 campaigns, and a hot pink paint job that you couldn’t miss.  When he announced his VOR campaign and bought a previous generation boat to train on, everyone cheered; it’s not every day an amateur owner/driver steps up to the Volvo.

Alas, the global financial crisis emptied PDR’s petty cash box out quite rapidly, and with no sponsors jumping, he pulled the plug on the Volvo challenge, staying out of the high end of the sport altogether for the past few years.

Yet here he is in Europe, sailing around on a Volvo 65.  Is this the beginning of something new, or is PDR just having a go with a few of his old pals?  Or is De Ridder getting in some practice for his new boat – a Volvo 65 named Mean Machine? We don’t know more – do you?

 

July 28th, 2014 by admin

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Gerd-Jan in mast

Fresh from their trouncing of Teams SCA and Campos during last weekend’s little Round the Canaries race comes this shot of Brunel bowman Gerd-Jan Poortman standing on Brunel’s forestay.  ”Was he up there fixing or inspecting?”, we asked.  ”Nope – that pose was on his bucket list.”

While Bouwe and the Brunel team continue to do a good job building fans, we’re surprised that the Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi teams seemed to have dropped off the face of the Earth after their recent transatlantic ‘non-race’, without a single update since about the 19th.  Anyone know more?  Hit the VOR thread.  Sander Van Der Borch photo, and here’s the best cover we’ve found of the Johnny Cash classic that gave this piece its title – or at least the best looking!

 

July 25th, 2014 by admin

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VOR08dk QING0952Now that the news is out on the Brunel Volvo team, we can now print Bouwe Bekking’s Innerview from a few days ago. As always, a great guy to chat with and a great part of the SA community for over a decade now; here he is with another SA Innerview.

SA: It’s great to see the Netherlands in the game, with you at the helm. As a frequent one-design sailor, how do you think the new design changes the race strategy?

BB: This change will have a major impact. In the previous races you could sail like a world champion, but very you still got beaten by the faster boat. Besides fast sailing, strategy will hugely important.

SA: We hear that the in-port races will no longer count for the overall VOR standings. Does this make the stopovers less or more interesting from your point of view?

BB: This is still not 100% clear, there is an option for this in the Notice of Race. But I hope it will stay part of the scoring, it has become a feature of the race and if you make it part of the scoring you will make sure that all the team are 100% focussed

SA: Will this be a Dutch effort or more of an international crew? Have you selected them yet? Who you got?

BB: The initiative is Dutch and of course we try to get as many as possible cloggies onboard, but since our sponsor is an international company they wouldn’t mind if some foreigners are onboard. Gerd -Jan Poortman is confirmed . For the rest not: you can’t commit to anybody before the money is in the bank, otherwise you make a fool out of yourself when it doesn’t happen. For the other crew we will follow a strict selection procedure.

SA: The lack of design competition means teams have been able to wait far longer to announce their intentions. Meanwhile, the girls of SCA will have a big head start over everyone else in training and sorting their boat out. How do you make up that deficit? As a one-design boat, does it really matter?

BB: Isn’t it great that now all of a sudden teams who come in late, still have chance to do well? Thanks One-Design! The girls have got a very good set-up and gotten all the opportunities, they have a of course headstart. We just have work hard and use the experience we most likely have to transfer our knowledge from big one-design offshore boats into the V65

SA: What do you think of the Farr/VOR 65 compared to the VO70s you’ve sailed? Strengths/weaknesses compared to Movistar/Telefonica?

BB: I think they will be very similar in performance and they will still be soaking wet. Compare to Movistar/ Telefonica they will be structural stronger and I expect easier to drive/steer in big seas.

SA: Who’s your sponsor, and what do they hope to get out of it?

BB: As you now know, it is Brunel. They have have been in the race twice before and actually jumped in last minute to make it possible for teams to race. They sponsored a team in the Tour de France and as well a Mini-Transat sailor. They are in for it as they like sailing and like to win.

SA: Do you plan to do any events with your boat before the VOR starts? Which ones? When do you get delivery?

BB: We want to do some events and like to race against other V65′s, that will be good to see how we go . But we will finalize our schedule in the coming month. We get boat number 3, which actually is ready, but the boat need to painted, we have to order sails do the graphics, and other logistics. Even that it is a one-design, we won’t rush as that might bump us in the bum.

SA: What do you think the budgets really need to be in order to have a good chance of winning? How does this compare number wise to your other campaigns?

BB: As long you can pay the entry and the centralized service, the boat, new sails and have accommodation you should be fine, The number is a fraction of what we spend on previous campaigns. Thank you one-design, again!

SA: With so many changes to the VOR, do you have any big worries about the 14/15 VOR?

BB: No worries right now, sleeping well!

 

 

December 5th, 2013 by admin

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Brunel VOR-2Update 12/3/13 – Hot off the PR….

Sailing Holland, an initiative of several well-known Dutch yachtsmen, and Brunel International N.V. have reached an agreement about participation in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. This will be the third time that the Amsterdam-based company, which specialises in project management, secondment and consultancy, will be at the starting line of this round-the- world ocean race.

The Team Brunel skipper is Bouwe Bekking, whose sailing career includes participation in six previous Volvo Ocean Races. The other members of the team have not yet been announced. Candidates will have to undergo a stringent selection procedure during the coming months.

 

12/1/13 – Bouwe Bekking is said to be close to announcing his entry from the Netherlands in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, and we’re stoked as hell to see it.  Not just because Bouwe has been a Sailing Anarchy reader for more than a decade and front page contributor for most of that, but because we adore the Dutchman’s honesty, passion for sailing, and relativeringsvermogen.  We should know more about the team and their title sponsor this week, and we’ll have some info from the man himself immediately after the announcement.

For some good sponsor speculation and more info from the very inquisitive Dutch press, hit the Dutch Sailing VOR Facebook Page.  To speculate yourself, get the inside rumors, and talk shit, hit the thread.

 

December 3rd, 2013 by admin

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