Segt i tropikerna för Bouwe & Co

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Bouwe Bekking med team Brunel har det motigt i VOR, men i bloggande, bilder och filmer från båten är de bäst på att fånga livet på båten.

Dagens dos av segling ger Volvo Ocean Race mig - varje dag! Även nu när flottan är inne på sin andra vecka från Melbourne till Hong-Kong och lider av svag vind nordost om Salomon-öarna. Rapporterna från båtarna är för min del dagens höjdpunkt, eftersom de är personligt hållna och ofiltrerade. Av dem håller jag Bouwe Bekkings bloggande som bäst och innehållsrikast. Det går tyvärr inte toppen för min favorit och jag kan såklart inte låta bli att fundera på varför det går som det gör för denne kämpe, som gör racet för åttonde gången.

Kanske beror det på att förutsättningarna för team Brunel är inte helt desamma som för ledande Mapfre och Dongfeng? Bouwes projekt kom ju igång sent och eventuellt med backning av arrangören själv, enligt vad en Whitbread- och VOR- veteran berättade på ett föredrag om sina seglingar för en tid sedan. Förberedelser i form av tvåbåtsträning hade Brunel inte tid till före starten i Alicante i oktober och det har historien visat behövs för att vara bäst.

I skrivande stund, torsdag em, har båtarna börjat få fart igen efter fyra dygn. Men igen verkar Brunel tyvärr tappa, fick vinden senare än båtarna som låg mer nordostvart.

Oavsett hur det går för Bouwe och team Brunel leder dom ligan vad gäller videos och rapporter från racet. Av det skälet kommer Bouwes blogg att återges på denna min blogg. Varje dag. Läs, lev och lid!

Curt Gelin

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Trim, trim, trim.. Så fort vinden vrider, ökar eller minskar är besättningen med. Stiltjen i tropikerna gav 39 grader under däck, nätterna var efterlängtade.

 

11 jan Raceday 11 update #34:
Very mixed feelings right now on Team Brunel. We had an excellent day yesterday and we were well in sight of the others, but then we lost out big in a thunderstorm, who brought us some action. I got flipped out of my bunk as all of a sudden the breeze changed 90 degrees, The big code zero was strapped in as we were sailing upwind, so that was pushed against the rig and as well the mainsail was forced against the runner. Probably we heeled around 45 degrees the wrong way as the keel was also on the wrong side. It took about 1 minute to get the code 0 furled and getting the new runner on.

Then Kyle, who was driving had to find the orientation for the new course and off we were again. A tect book recovery! Shortly after it started pouring down and most took a shower.........I had taken my foullies on, I know after the first good feeling of having a shower, you get freezing cold, so saved myself from that, hopefully no colds showing up in few days.

Mapfre was only 2 miles to leeward, we could see their torches shining on the sails and we both sailed around 15 knots of boat speed, as the wind had come aft. Then all of a sudden we ran out of the breeze, while they kept going full pace. It is a dreadful feeling, you quickly see their masthead light getting smaller and smaller and after 30 minutes they disappeared out of sight. On AIS we could still see them, but we knew we would lose out badly, as the fickle breeze what we had started coming straight from behind, meaning we were well of course, while Mapfre was doing the course.

Food situation. For sure another painful position report will follow, but the fighting spirit is there and still a very, very long way to go: I asked Abby to start looking into our food situation, as we can be way longer out than predicted, she doesn't seem to be worried, so that is good news.

Cheers,

Bouwe

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Nätterna var vykortsvackra och behagliga utanför Salomonöarna på andra veckan mot Hong-Kong.

Jan 10 Raceday 10 Update:
Torture! It’s hot and slow. It’s been frustrating – we’ve done under 100 miles in 24 hours. During the day it’s very, very hot with no breeze at all. It saps your energy completely. Sally (Barkow) just needed one word to describe the whole situation: “Torture.”

We’re actually very close to the leaders. They are about ten miles away but the opportunities are there. Hopefully, we could somehow sneak around them but they are in a strong position. The northeast trades are coming from ahead but hopefully, we can catch up with them before that and sailing with them in the same waters. Because if they catch the breeze earlier than us nine or ten miles can become easily 100 or 150 miles.”

 

Don't watch it, if you cant handle slowwwwwww.....

Rome Kirby (USA): “We were doing 18 to 20 knots of boat speed when the breeze did fall 180 degrees. When you’re going that fast and you have the big sails up it is kind of hard to keep up with it. The master head zero backed against the rig and put us on the side. We were pretty close to Mapfre and AkzoNobel but we were on the wrong side of the cloud. The others had the best of it but that’s part of sailboat racing I guess.”

After that, we really lost the miles to the rest of the fleet. Which is a bit of a shame. We worked really hard to stay in front of the clouds but didn’t succeed. It is a dreadful feeling, you quickly see their masthead light getting smaller and smaller and after 30 minutes they disappeared out of sight.

Cheers, BB

 

Jan 9 Raceday 8 Update:
The last 24 hours have been a unicum in the race so far, covering just over 100 miles in 24 hours... then all of a sudden it is a longggg way to Hong Kong.

But we are enjoying it some way, somehow. Trimming all the time, shifting gears to try to get the maximum out of each puff of breeze. Sometimes tacking, sometimes gybing as the wind is all over the show. So the weather forecast / models again show they suck in this area, so we are aiming to what we think is the best course in the long term.

Carlo couldn't haven't wished a better birthday he said and of course got an extra bite of our world famous the Graaf cookies.

The off watch sleeping either in the bow below or even some on deck, as it is nice and cool there.

Sam's knee is finally getting better, hopefully he is 100 % soon. Jens is dreaming of how nice it would be right now back home, where it it is -7 C, he prefers the cold to the heat, so he picked the right leg to come :-)

This afternoon had a massive school of fish jumping and splashing around the boat, like they were getting chased by some bigger fish. We first spotted a couple of dolphins working in formation, but then they disappeared, probably because of full bellies, but the fish kept jumping, so some other predators must have been on the chase. Yann got his favourite toy out: his drone, and has hopefully taken some good shots.

Kyle took the took the opportunity during a super light patch to have a look at the underwater ship, the first small barnacles are appearing and he noticed some damage at the leading edges of the rudders.

Alright, time for me to find a place to sleep and dream about my girls back home, they for sure would have loved to be here right now.

Cheers,Bouwe

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Bouwe snyggar till sig för att bättre känna pustarna och behålla sitt goda humör när Brunel hamnar fel i moln.

Jan 8 Raceday 8 Update:
Sparks flying off the mast It has been a very hectic 24 hours. Yesterday we ran through a massive thunderstorm, with a huge amount of lightning. The stable breeze instantly changed and before we knew we becalmed. Then a huge light strike hit so that the sparks were flying off the mast and runners. Rome who was driving was slaying flat on the deck, just from the shock of the massive sound as well. Luckily no electronics got blown out. Of course, there was plenty of rain as well, makes you wonder what happens with all the electricity going through the boat and you are standing there barefooted and some with bare chest, carbon is very good at leading electricity through. But all survived:-)

Worried and wondering. Of course, you are always worried when you park up and wondering how did the others cope with it, did they park up as well or did they keep going? As it panned out the leaders were also slow, but Scallywag missed someway everything and made a massive gain. But they are well to leeward of us and have to sail 15 degrees higher to make the Salomon rounding mark. As it was, we were going full upwind towards Santa Ana island, in case Scallywag has to tack they will lose massively.

Seeing land. We have the feeling that we are sailing well and that shows as well in the reports. We just have to keep chipping away, 30 miles to the leader is a lot, but we know all is possible. It is always remarkable that seeing land always have an extra positive effect to everybody, for one it might be the snow white beaches for another one seeing the green forest and maybe even for some knowing that you are not by yourself out here ;-)

One big downside with seeing land is that it results straight away in plenty of rubbish in the water, from plastic bottles, bags to big fishing nets and wooden crates. Not funny at all!

Cheers, Bouwe

 

Jan 8 Raceday 7 Update #33:
100 mile in 24 hour. The last 24 hours have been a unicum in the race so far, covering just over 100 miles in 24 hours..........than all of a sudden it is longggg way to Hongkong. But we are enjoying it someway somehow.

Trimming all the time, shifting gears to try to get the maximum out of each puff of breeze. Some times tacking, sometimes gybing as the wind is all over the show. So the weather forecast / models again show they suck in this area, so we are aiming to what we think is the best course in the long term.

Birthday Carlo.Carlo couldn't haven't wished a better birthday he said and of course got an extra bite of our world famous the Graaf cookies The off watch sleeping either in the bow below or even some on deck, as it is nice and cool there. Sam's knee is finally getting better, hopefully, he is 100 % soon. Jens is dreaming of how nice it would be right now back home, where it is -7 C, he prefers the cold of the heat, so he picked the right leg to come:-)

This afternoon had a massive school of fish jumping and splashing around the boat, like of they were getting chased by some bigger fish, we first spotted a couple of Dolphins working in formation, but then they disappeared, probably because of full belly's, but the fish kept jumping, so some other predators must have been on the chase.

Yann got his favourite toy out:his drone and has hopefully taken some good shots. Kyle took the took the opportunity duringa super light patch to have a look at the underwater ship, the first small barnacles are appearing and he noticed some damage at the leading edges of the rudders. All right time for me to find a place to sleep and dream about my girls back home, they for sure would have loved to be here right now.

Cheers, Bouwe

 

Jan 7 Raceday 6 Update:
Another day in tropical conditions. Capey has been on top keeping a closing eye on the hazardous areas, of which there are plenty and in particular one reef which was directly in our path towards our course to the Salomon islands. We were wondering what Scallwag would do with that one, as they were to leeward of us and heading straight towards the most shallow patch of the so-called "Banc de Landsdowne", hopefully, they didn't hit it as in the last position report they lost 40 miles!!!

Showing the hours. We have been going well the last day, But the sail who has been up for most of also this leg starts showing the hours on it. It always had some creezes coming out of the clew from day one, which has become worse over time. It is amazing that this sail has been up most during leg 1,2 & 3 and now again. It for sure has to go to the sail loft in Hongkong and needs a tickle up in that area.

That one sail in the inventory. There is still one sail in the inventory what we should have used a lot, but has been in the bag since Lissabon. We thought it was us, but we have seen that the others are not using the sail either. It would be a good idea to slacken the rules, as right we now have to carry all the sails. If that rule is not in place that sail would stay for sure on the beach, making the stacking way easier. Or a better option would be doing a major re-cut, changing the shape, for the entire fleet, so we actually can use it.

One design is great. Am I complaining? No, not really, it is the same for everybody, that is the great thing with one design, but a bit of lobbying might do the job :-)

Cheers, Bouwe

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Brunel med stagsegel, jib 1 och code 1 satta är en grann syn som fint fångas av drönareföraren ombord - Yann Riou.

Jan 6 Raceday 5 Update:
Getting Bitten. Ouchhh, who would have though that one extra jibe of 45 minutes into the Australian coast yesterday could have been so expensive, but we got bitten badly. A huge loss to most boats. Hindsight it's easy speaking, but there was more current against us and for a longer period of time. Of course we're dark, but the spirit is good, and the atmosphere is like: Let's get back at them!

Sam's knee. Sam is is bit unfortunate, his knee is badly swoolen, he isn't really capable to do something on a watch, but he is on deck, as the temperature is nice and the fresh air does him well. So he is on medication, hopefully he will recover soon.

Brill-Yant. Our OBR Yann is dream come true, very easy going , he's a lot on deck even during the night, taking pictures, filming and flying the drone and on top of that helping drying the bilges, cleaning the Esky in which we prepare food and he's never in our way . He is besides a top Onboard Reporter a very accomplished sailor himself, what hasn't he done lately. This summer and autumm he did crossings on the maxi tri's like Gitana and Macif, so used to very fast sailing, a top guy.

Cheers, Bouwe

 

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