Dog and Pony Show

Bouwe Reports

Dog and Pony Show

We just finished the press conference for all the 8 skippers in the Volvo race, and it was amazing to see how many TV , radio stations and journalists attended. And this time none of the familiar faces who normally cover our race. This must mean that the race is alive in India, at least in the Kochi region. In India there are 1.13 billion people, it would be nice to have only a small percentage interested in our sport, and no wonder why the sponsors want to go here. The organizers expect close to a million spectators on all the shore lines to see the boats depart tomorrow, Who says sailing is not popular.

I was honestly very skeptical about this visit, but it has beaten all the odds. Ok, the water looks filthy, with heaps of weed, but you have to give it to them that organized a very nice stopover with good facilities . Above all they put on a great show for all the public who are visiting in huge amounts every day. However nice Capetown might have been, it was not a real event, as everybody was scattered over the harbor. But here we had an event. Potential to go back? They have my vote.

Of course we also have to race. But we first do a dog and pony show, here inside of the harbor, with a parade and a fake start for the public. This then gets followed by a real start 5 miles offshore at 1530 local time. We will start in light seabreeze, which will shut off sometimes during the night. An important call has to be made right then and there. Stay offshore of kiss the coast. Further south there is good NE gradient wind, and we get a blast to the south tip of Sri Lanka. So the boat that sticks its nose first out into the new breeze might get a jump over all the others, and stay ahead until we reach the Malacca strait. 

We have got good grip on the Malacca strait,(at least we tend to think so), and we are probably not as worried as some of the other teams for this region. As well, since we are predominantly a light air running and/or reaching boat in that area, we know that our boat is not performing too bad. Hopefully can send of some good news during the leg. Predictions are hard to make, but we are looking forward to this critical leg, but hope for an early X-mas present!


Bouwe Bekking