Nick Dana checks in from onboard Abu Dhabi in the VOR
Anarchists, it was yet another tough day for us aboard Azzam. One big ol’ mother of a cloud managed to screw us out of two scheds, while the rest of the fleet charged ahead in the trades. About a day ago we were battling it out with Camper sched for sched and now we are, as Ian puts it; “fighting for our lives to stay in the race!” Added to which, the rich only seem to get richer in the forecasts ahead. Groupama has nearly a full day on us now and Puma and Telefonica are not far from them. Needless to say there is a bitter taste on board today – and it ain’t my coffee!
No matter though – we battle on and sail our own race. In the past hour we have finally hooked into the trades and are now on the hunt. The race isn’t over by a long shot, but we have our work cut out for us for sure. We also still have a little height to our advantage so hopefully we can pull that card out towards the finish with a faster angle. As Paul said to me while eating our breakfast, “we are plenty confident in our boat handling and tactics – just not our luck! And often that’s what it all boils down to. Who knows though, we may still pull something out here, especially if there is some VMG running (our strongest angle) towards the finish.”
While the racing dominates nearly every moment of your time on board, it’s crucial that we also think ahead. The next leg begins in less than a week and a half now. The Southern Ocean leg no less. Thus the nav station has been overrun with guys getting their area’s work list back to the shore team. Bubs has even resorted to building mock ups from used foil food bags. “Time is tight, and the wind is light – might as well get on with jobs while we’re stuck out here and the shore team waits for us in Auckland.”