...8 days to go!,,,,Alvi's already bandaging each other,,,,the french are looking for film for their camera,,,,,the gals have gone 'shopping',,,,,,,and I've boosted my internet speed
..there's quite a few 'interesting' articles at...... http://www.volvoocea...om/en/home.html ...but nothing better than putting all the spec to bed soon and getting on with some very live excitement---this..will..be..GOOD!!
the Alicante race village prepares to welcome the crowds, the sailors are saying their farewells...
“I always tell them that it’s just a race” – Bouwe Bekking, Team Brunel
After chalking up half a dozen laps of the planet over the last three decades, Bouwe is well-placed to deliver advice as the big race draws closer.
“Treat it like an evening regatta,” adds Bouwe, with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
“Of course, have respect for nature, and feel fortunate to be a part of it, but don’t start living in a bubble. The world keeps on turning.”
Wise words from the six-Volvo veteran as he attempts to keep his younger sailors’ butterflies at bay. And speaking of butterflies…
“We’ll still have the binoculars out on the first leg” – Dave Swete, Team Alvimedica
Nope, not bird watching, or plane spotting – for the American team, the next few weeks are still all about figuring out their rivals. “We’ll be learning all the way to Cape Town!” adds the Kiwi.
If you thought Leg 0 was the last chance for the teams to study each other, you were wrong – that education continues all the way through the race.
“With the race this close, I savour the time we’ve got left on land. I feel ready – a lot more ready than I ever felt last time,” says Dave – and the good news is, his team feels ready too.
They're in good hands at least. Dave, and Mark Towill, attended the teams' Medics Refresher Course held by the Volvo Ocean Race medical team this week.
Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
And as a nominated first aider within his crew, Dave was reminded how to stitch a wound, take blood and apply bandages correctly.
“Charlie and Mark are good at recognising people’s strengths and weaknesses, and drawing from them." he says about his skipper and team mate. "They are very good leaders.”
“It’s a bit of nerves, a bit of anxiety, but I’m really ready to go” – Luke Parkinson, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Hey Luke, there’s a toilet just around the co- oh, you mean ready to go to Cape Town. Of course.
It’s all happening in the Abu Dhabi camp right now. The guys are back from their final holiday before the start of the race, and are putting the finishing touches to their months of hard work and tough training.
“When we first started, I felt like I was in the deep end a little bit,” admits the Aussie bowman. “But we’ve done a lot of miles now, and I feel a lot more comfortable.”
“I think last edition, Ian was probably a lot more stressed. He says he’s a lot happier with our preparations, so it’s sending good vibes throughout the team.”
“There are always little things you can tinker with on the boat, but at some point you just have to go with what you’ve got – that day will come soon.”
“I tried to leave home with a clear head” – Charles Caudrelier, Dongfeng Race Team
Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
It’s exciting times in the Franco-Chinese camp. Frenchman Yann Riou, who spent the last edition with winning team Groupama, has been officially named as their Onboard Reporter, and it’s also been a week to remember for their skipper.
“I’ve been home, my brother got married,” says Charles. “I spent a lot of time with my family, making sure that everything is organised for my children.”
“It wasn’t the most relaxing time, but I made the most of it before nine months on the boat!”
But is it frustrating being so close to the start date, yet so far?
“No, I like this period,” he says. “I’m okay this week, but next week I’ll be impatient for the race. When you leave, so does a lot of pressure.”
“I took two days holiday in Lanzarote – my island!” – Carlos Hernández, Team España
Wow, sounds nice. 48 hours with friends and family, and most importantly, spending as much time as possible on dry land, before nine months of cramped bunks, freeze-dried food and soggy underwear at sea. So what else did Carlos get up to?
“I sailed into Ibiza, on a TP52 boat.” Oh. You can’t help some people.
Anyway, as sweet as the time off tasted, it didn’t last long for Iker Martínez’s crew – and they’re back sweating in the team base once again.
“It never stops – working on the boat, in the gym, and sailing. We’re really making final preparations for the race now.”
“We feel like a bit of a family” – Tom Johnson, Team Vestas Wind
A weird, all-male Australian-Kiwi-Danish family, yes – but a family nonetheless.
And at just 23 years old, and the youngest on the team, I guess Tom takes the role of the little kid… with four Volvo veterans playing dad.
“Trae, Salty, Nico and Coxy – the older guys – are awesome at helping us get up to speed,” he smiles. “It’s a big learning curve for the younger guys on board.”
“We got three days off last week, but our passports have been taken away, so we just cruised around Alicante – it was nice!”
Hmm. Passport removal. Well that's one way to make sure that the teams stick around and work on the boat...or go shopping and blow the budget on muesli bars.
Team Vestas Wind: Shopping
"I love the ocean and sailing boats. I have the sea in my veins.” – Sam Davies, Team SCA
And ultimately, that’s the point. That’s why we’re all standing here, a week before the start of the 12th edition of this incredible race.
"To me, the ocean remains a magical place that I feel honoured to have spent so much time in," adds Dee Caffari.
That’s why 66 brave sailors are saying goodbye to their families, friends, pets and comfort zones.
That’s why many more shore crews, boat builders and engineers are swapping life as they know it, for life at the extreme.
And that’s why this is the final Dock Talk. For months, we have tracked the preparations of the teams, from selecting the crewmembers, to stormy transatlantics and safety training.
But the time for talk is over – the boats are ready, the teams are ready, and all eyes turn to Alicante.
“The cure for everything is saltwater. Sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen, Author
Rest assured, we’ll be seeing all of the above over the next nine months.