Anarchist Uruguay Natural checks in from Punta Del Este, where Groupama just finished their wham, bam, thank you ma’am repair stop in the resort town.
First I would like to thank you and congratulate to you for your great website and all the information you share with we readers, we learn a lot from your posts, interesting and always the freshest of information.
On another hand, with Groupama having just left Punta Del Este, I write to you to tell the world how proud we were to help the team with their fight to get back into the race.
Of course everyone knows that Groupama had to come to shore to prepare a jury rig to finish the leg to Itajai, but you should know that from the moment Groupama contacted the Yacht Club Punta Del Este (YCPE) to let them know they were headed our way, a chain of events was set in motion that you didn’t see on the videos nor in the reports on the Volvo site.
YCPE staff and volunteers were working constantly to try to solve the various problems and requests from the Groupama shore team as they worked to organize a fix to the mast, while at the same time, a nasty storm passed through, making preparations for arrival that much more complicated.
Finally, Groupama were safe at port, and they took advantage of a little break in the action by accepting an invitation to get real showers, hot meals, and beds for a little while. Meanwhile, YC staff organized the crane and many of the tools the team would need to get the team back on the water, even finding them some extra resin.
The Club wasn’t looking for anything other than ‘Supporting the sport of sailing and the sailor,’ as is our main goal. Hopefully your readers remember that the YCPE was a stopover for the Whitbread five times in its history, as well as serving as a stopover for many other offshore races (recently including the Velux and Global Ocean Race) and a World Championship and Continental Championship venue for numerous international classes.
Our main objective is to teach the young sailors how to sail a boat and if they like it, how to continue on to racing them, as well. We hope we can welcome the Volvo Ocean Race back again to Punta Del Este, though even if we can’t, we’ll always be here to help out if another race boat needs us!