Ross Field reports from aboard Buckley Systems deep in the Southern Ocean as they are pushed around by 40 knot winds in the race to Wellington:
Some would question our sanity if they saw what went on these small 40 footers, deep in the southern ocean. It is freezing cold and all those things we have talked about, but the motion is unbelievable - whether you are on deck or below you a thrown around like you would never believe as the waves crash over the boat, as you blast down along at 25 knots. Both of us have injuries from being thrown around - bashed hips, sprained wrists, bruising to all our body BUT we do have some fantastic stories to talk about over a quiet beer or two.
I can never remember the other races like this - they have been in bigger boats which makes it easier, and fully crewed. These boats are flat out racing skiffs, slightly modified for ocean racing. Last night I wondered how in hell a boat can take this punishment. Some waves hit the side of the boat with such force it felt like the boat had been pushed sideways - you blast off down a huge wave and the boat becomes airborne and then crashes down nearly driving the mast thru the bottom of the boat. James - do you think this is similar to the folk boat out in Lymington? Colin - similar to the Hartley 16 out of New Plymouth?
Really exciting stuff and we must keep pushing because the 'young ones' are sailing extremely well.