VOR SA Exclusive
By the time you read this we should not be to far off Newport, right now still 310 miles to go the entrance. The racing has been incredible close again in this leg so far, but with the crossing of the Gulfstream still ahead of us everything can happen. Who has done the Bermuda race knows that huge losses and gains can happen very quickly. The “funny” thing is that that current models do not correspond in the placing of the main eddies, being close to 100 miles apart. It will stay close and the AIS is a thing we monitor all the time. Maybe in the next race this should become one of the duties the OBR( reporter) can do. Or maybe better not, if you would have a guy like our Stefan, he would wake you up every second if the screen changes. Best would be to allow to switch the thing off.
Talking about next race: I think all have to agree that the One Design choice has been the golden ticket as it must be fun to follow from the shore, at least for us sailors it is great fun. The big debate currently going one is what to do with the boats, as there are lots of ways to get more speed out of them. Better daggerboards with a foil, higher rig /more sail area, stern hung rudders are a couple of things who fly through the air. My personal opinion, if a bit of extra lead on the
bulb is safe for the rig do that, we lack stability, but leave for the rest the boats as they are. Why: all this other changes will cost a huge amount of money, before you know you spend a zillion $$$ on something that doesn’t make the racing better and you still have to raise that extra money what these changes will cost. Imagine you buy a 2nd hand boat, you think you make a saving and then all if sudden get an extra bill on top………maybe bite the bullet and buy a new one with all
The boats have delivered well, no major structural issues. The 3Di sails from North have been excellent, we just compared a picture from our mainsail from just before start with one of today. 35000 NM usage…………..bit more draft aft. Give it a new paint job and I bet if you would ask somebody he/she would say this is a brand new main. Same for the other sails, you can see they have been used, but still in good shape. This mileage would be a life time for the average cruiser, I know what I would buy . But that said, if another sailmaker would come up with a much better financial deal for the teams, why not. Maybe not the quality , but at least everybody will be in the same shit if sails start deteriorating. The rigs have been good, they have been gone through a lot: ok, one tumbled down, but that is racing. There have been issues with electronics, but they have mostly been solved along the route. The galley is in for an improvement.
but that is a detail. In general : Good!!
You see my worries: MONEY! Don’t spend a dime on anything what is not necessary. It will be bloody hard for anybody to raise 12 -15 million Euro for a next campaign. Even that it is great return for the sponsors, if will be the same old story for the persons finding sponsorship: their hardest part of the race will be raising the cash.
Finally: yes, you should come to Newport, no excuses: as a sailor you should support at least the people who made it possible that this city got this well deserved stopover, they worked their butts off to make it happen. And yes we will be there as well, can’t promise you a tour, but our guys are always having time for a chat.
Bouwe Bekking/ TeamBrunel