a message from jail

An exclusive for you Anarchists from one of our all-time favorite sailors, Bouwe Beking onboard Tean Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race

Nearly two weeks on the water, time flies. Are we happy? Yes, we have 9 content inmates on-board teambrunel. Now don’t get me wrong, this jail is not bad at all, but we are missing terrible the news from the rest of the world. I realize we all have become cyber junkies. What is the first thing you do when at home waking up, right check you mail, while you brew a cup of coffee in the mean time for your better half , although she does that most for me-:) .

The 2nd thing I do is checking SA’s website for any gossip or stories and the 3rd thing is checking the news. Now all of that is nearly impossible, SA articles are out of the question. But also we can’t email directly to who we want, we have to go through a allocated person in our shorecrew and have to cc race committee in. The same for making phone calls, I can’t just pick up the phone and call my wife, I need to ask permission. Feels like Big Brother is watching us. But the sailing is fantastic and the racing has been close although terrible slow. The Arabs still show us their stern as they did a better job than us in the last 48 hours.

Sailing under jib we are not very flash, we have seen that now on several occasions ,we hang in, but we just don’t seem to have any height compare to the others. The sails should be all one design, so theoretical it can’t be that, maybe the rig set-up is not right or it is the way we are trimming, But we have no issues when other sails are up. Having the AIS compulsory switched on, changed the game completely.

The first 7 days when we were relatively slow and boats doing similar speeds, you needed one person permanent looking at the screen, observing the competition. The fun part of making moves at night time has dissapeared , as others can react immediately. So it was nice when the breeze picked up and speed differences where more obvious plus a chance to pick up on sleep as monitoring stopped when more than 7 miles apart. We stuck to our game plan and that has paid off, but this race is far from over, even the guys and chicks miles behind us, will have an opportunity to get back into the game, as we will sail in less breeze.

Not to speak about cutting the corner, you get it right you can shave easy a couple of hundreds miles of the route to CPT. Anyway right now we feel better to be one of the front runners than be in chasing pack.

Cheers, Bouwe

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