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Posts Tagged ‘volvo ocean race’

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Finally, here is the full story, as only the skipper could tell it.  55 minutes of everything about the why, the how, and the what next after the shipwreck that shocked the world.

Huge thanks to the M32 Series, Gosford Sailing Club, Redhanded TV, Penalty Box Productions, Morten and Team Vestas Wind, and Megan, the blonde groms, and Rusty for helping make it happen, and of course thanks to the Anarchists for giving us mostly excellent questions for Nico.

And if you want to see the boys in blue back in the race, tell them so on Facebook. 

 

December 17th, 2014 by admin

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Mr. Clean’s headed over to Abu Dhabi next week to bring you more of what a sailor wants to see, but already, SA Middle East Bureau Chief Jeff B is on the ground putting his own slices of life together with some Canon L glass.  He ain’t Borlenghi but he’s got a good eye, and we can definitely say we’ve got the only VOR-accredited photographer who flies fighter jets!

Jeff caught this awesome Lego Team SCA boat in the race village, and we learned the (now old) story of why it’s going with them around the world; very cool stuff that you can learn too if you get to the Abu Dhabi Stopover thread for all sorts of pics of the haulouts, the teams, the race village, the Boatyard, and much more.

And don’t forget to check out the live feed when Clean and the VOR team bringing you the In-Port Race and Leg 3 Start on the 2nd and 3rd of January.

December 16th, 2014 by admin

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We were so motivated by the youth-centric feel at last week’s Melges 32 Worlds (and stay tuned for the full movie from that one coming soon) that we arranged a little trans-oceanic conversation between M32 alums Charlie and Mark and the Worlds fleet on Team Alvimedica.  Petey Crawford and the Alvi editing crew put it together into a little story.  Maybe your school kids or sailing organization wants to chat to them too; can’t hurt to ask them on Facebook...

 

December 16th, 2014 by admin

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From a healthy-looking yachtie to a meth-addled trucker in just 3 weeks; Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing war correspondent Matt Knighton shows just how hard life is at the extreme – and there hasn’t even been an extreme leg yet.  And he’s got the least physically demanding job on the boat.

Nice work from Ian Roman.  Now get that man a burger!

December 15th, 2014 by admin

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Dongfeng Racing hangs on to a slim lead over Bouwe and the Brunel boys, with Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi team just a few miles back with a hair over 100 miles to the finish.  And when the sun comes up in Abu Dhabi today, the Volvo Ocean Race folks will bring the last piece of the Leg 2 puzzle to you live. Click the link above for the countdown timer, and look for videos, analysis, and share your predictions and banter in the thread.

 

December 12th, 2014 by admin

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Chris Nicholson sat down with us on Friday for his first real interview since his return to civilization, and with the help of about a hundred Anarchist-sourced questions we had an emotional, hour-long discussion that should answer all your questions about the grounding, the evacuation, the cleanup, the rescue, the salvage, and the future.  With both Clean and the Redhanded TV shooters in the air right now, the full edit will take a few days – but here’s a little teaser.

Be sure to check back right here on Wednesday for the full cut – it’s some of the best work we’ve ever done with one of our favorite skippers, and we owe a huge thanks to the following folks for helping to make it possible: Team Vestas Wind, the M32 Series, Redhanded TV, the Extreme Sailing Series, the Gosford Sailing Club, and of course Chris and Megan for making the long drive down to meet us.  If you want to see Nico back on the line in Newport, it’s time to start showing your support for TVW over on their Facebook Page.  You may very well make the difference…

 

December 12th, 2014 by admin

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We’re more than a little disappointed to see that the Vestas Wind media call/press conference (all but a minute or so is linked above) was straight of last century, with only pre-approved questions asked by the moderator and nothing even approaching the many meaty subjects that real sailors care about. The only ‘new’ news was, first, that Volvo still owned the boat – something we didn’t know at all, and something the race may have not wanted everyone to know.  The more important news is that Vestas and co-sponsor Powerhouse sound to be close to pulling the trigger on a new boat – VO65 hull number 8.  We hear that the materials are ordered, holiday leave has been cancelled, and the molds are being moved back into position, and by next Monday, there’s a good chance it will be underway.

What this means to points and the fleet after Vestas would rejoin is unknown.  It’s the logical extension of the kind of questions asked when the first VOR was trucked across a continent rather than sailing around it.  Would it make a mockery of the race, or is this just like a low-end Formula 1 team destroying a car and taking two or three races to deal with it before returning?

Those questions are a bit far off; in at the meantime, we’re psyched that there’s even the possibility. We’re in this at least as much for the stories of courage and fear and struggle and triumph and failure as we are for the racing.

Target time for the delivery would be the Newport stopover, and of course 90% of the world’s discussion on the Vestas grounding is going on right here.

 

December 8th, 2014 by admin

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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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We don’t know when we’ll stop finding the entire Vestas Wind drama interesting, but not today, and with the team finally headed to civilization, there’s plenty more to come.  To the few of you who’ve accused us of somehow whitewashing the whole affair or going easy on VOR management, we encourage you to watch this one all the way through; Frostad’s clear and honest answers and obvious admiration for what Nico and crew have accomplished during the toughest moment of their careers are just about perfect, and we’re not sure how anyone couldn’t be on their side after listening to him!

We’ve been told that SA is at the top of the interview list as soon as the team has been properly debriefed in the Emirates.  Got a question for Nico?  Post it here, and don’t bother if it isn’t really good.  The situation deserves more thought than usual.  Hardcore music lovers will know from whence our title comes…

 

December 6th, 2014 by admin

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In this ‘cover your ass’ world, there are few things more compelling than someone standing up and taking direct responsibility for something disastrous.  Team Vestas Wind router Wouter Verbraak had just two days in Mauritius to collect himself before flying out, and using one of the only forms of communication he had – Facebook on a hotel computer – he posted his mea culpa , just an hour ago, and with no qualifications.  More, he’s analyzed what happened (probably ten thousand times over the past week), and provides a solid, logical, believable explanation of what was essentially a mistake resulting from the usual cascade of small errors; a combination of fatigue, time crunch, digital charting issues, and the last-minute, storm-induced course change from VOR Race Direction.  Like this attitude?  Like him on Facebook and tell him.  We’re sure he could use a few words of encouragement.  More Brian Carlin shipwreck pics here.

We finally have means of communications again, so a message is highly overdue…

I am totally devastated and still in shock as the gravity of our grounding is slowly sinking in now that we are safely in Mauritius with finally some time to reflect on what happened.

We are very lucky that nobody was hurt, and a lot of that is credit to our teamwork in the seconds, minutes and hours after the crash.

I made a big mistake,[emph. ours] but then we didn’t make any others even though there were many difficult decision to be made and the situation was very challenging and grave indeed.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 1.21.38 AMOnce I can get power to the boat’s laptops (if they survived) I can look further into how we didn’t see the reef on the electronic charts [emph. ours]. I did check the area on the electronic chart before putting my head down for a rest after a very long day negotiating the tropical storm, and what I saw was depths of 42 and 80m indicated. There is a very good article posted here which highlights some of the zooming problem in the vectorised charts that we used.

I can assure you that before every leg we diligently look at our route before we leave and I use both Google Earth, paper charts and other tools. However, our planned route changed just before we left, and with the focus on the start and the tricky conditions, I erroneously thought I would have enough information with me to look at the changes in our route as we went along. I was wrong. I am not trying to make any excuses – just trying to offer up some form of explanation and answer to some of your questions.

There are a number of lessons to be learned from this, which we hope will be able to relay in the time to come.

I am immensely grateful for all the support that we as a team, my family and myself have received from our wonderful friends, colleagues, family, Vestas, Powerhouse and Volvo. More over we are heavily in debt to the thorough support of Alvimedica throughout the first night, as well as the local fisherman and the coastguard of Ile du Sud in the atoll. So I want to thank everybody so very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am forever in your debt.

Wouter

 

December 4th, 2014 by admin

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Nebraska’s Jen Edney has been one of our favorite young photographers for the last couple of years, and her growth and maturity in the face of a nasty sailing accident last year has been phenomenal.  Jen’s work has a uniqueness about it that’s hard to pinpoint, but a few minutes with her body of work shows that her onboard ‘human’ shots are some of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport.  Jen will be working on some special projects surrounding the VOR over the next few months, but was embedded with Team Vestas Wind in Cape Town, and she put this story together for the Anarchists after the team’s recent drama.  Go and like her Facebook Page for more about this exciting young Sailor Chick of the Week.  And wish her a Happy Birthday while you’re at it.

The boats are gone. The village is empty. My friends, my ‘family’ are at sea. It’s a strange feeling after so much excitement, movement and anticipation over the past few weeks. Everyone is going about their daily lives as usual around me, but today, I am in another world. I find myself thinking about what my friends are eating for the next 25+ days while I eat breakfast. About the bashing they must have received overnight while I slept in the comforts of my own bed, feeling a tad guilty. I am thinking about my 30 hours+ of flight time home, realizing that I have it easy.  Call me crazy but I am also thinking, “I wish I was out there with them.”

Back home, I open my eyes to see the bright orange and pink colors of a Nebraska sunrise, having stirred from yet another dream of open water and blue sky.  It’s a recurring dream these days and a stark contrast to my landlocked location.  The first thing I think about upon waking is my mates at sea and how they are getting along, but it is Thanksgiving morning and I have so much to be thankful for. This morning I am thankful for my ‘real’ family in the Midwest as well as my ‘sailing family.’

Changing Colors

Team Vestas Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 Cape Town, South AfricaI thought about a recent experience I had during this past trip to Cape Town, when I was sitting in a circle of more than a dozen friends from all over the world; a night when I realized how special this sport can be.  I was sitting across from a person who helped me with my first-ever sailing story seven years ago and who I credit for getting me into this mess that I’ve grown to live, love, and long for.  As we all swapped stories from years past – stories that were in some cases older than I am! – nostalgia set in, and we talked about the way this race has really become life for so many.  We talked about the Whitbread days, how the race has changed and grown, stories of sadness, joy, and drama.  Nights barely remembered and nights whose impact will be felt for decades…we all have those.

Throughout the next 9 months, I will constantly be “changing colors” to tell my own stories of the Volvo Ocean Race.  My loyalty and allegiance lies not with one team, but with the sailors…all of them. I’ve realized how special this opportunity is, and that is one that wouldn’t have existed in this way during the past few editions of the race. Everyone has talked about how ‘One Design’ has changed the dynamics of the race, making for the tightest racing in history and opening the door for more sailors to compete, but that’s not all that has changed. The race has nearly always been won by the best-designed yacht and in recent years by the team with the biggest budget, forcing the sailors to work extra hard behind closed doors. And now, the doors are all open; and the new feeling in the Boatyard, the team bases, the Sailor’s Terrace, the hotels, parties, and media centers is one of camaraderie and togetherness.  It’s something that dominated many of the less professional days of the Whitbread, but it’s back – and the public, the sailors, and their families love it.  Of course they do – that camaraderie is one of the things we all love about the sport, isn’t it?

MEXORC 2014This was most recently illustrated as Team Alvimedica diverted from the race to stand by and assist in the rescue of fellow Team Vestas Wind after they ran hard aground.  Charlie Enright said, “The only thing that matters was that everyone was OK, they are our competitors and our friends but in addition to that we are each other’s support networks when we are sailing in remote corners of the world.”  And anyone who watched Will Oxley’s wonderful radio chatter and interviews knows that there was nothing that he wouldn’t do to help save his friends, perched on a reef in the middle of the ocean.

It is moments like these that highlight this precious aspect of the sport. Humbling moments that remind us to stop, take a breath, look around, and truly appreciate and respect where we are, and who we are with. As usual, Bouwe Bekking said it straight: “We are someway, somehow, one big family in this race.”

 

December 2nd, 2014 by admin

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