The crew on Team Alvimedica are preparing for the upcoming edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and discuss now the ‘promotional start’ with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
The story was supposed to be about leaving Newport, Team Alvimedica's home base and place of rest and refuge for the last few weeks. The story was supposed to be about going back to Europe, where we'll wind down the final stages of our training for the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in October. But we, like everyone else, got completely absorbed in the fact that there was another Volvo Ocean 65 sharing our departure time and space, right down to the second. Dubbed a 'promotional start' with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to our noncompetitive trans-Atlantic training runs ending in Southampton, England, there presence undoubtedly changed the dynamics of our departure.
After saying final thanks to the local support in Newport, our hosts the Newport Shipyard, and Sail Newport--the public sailing center tasked with facilitating our start (and eventually, hosts of the Race stopover), we unfurled our A3 and followed ADOR over the starting line about 10 seconds behind. It was the beginning of a busy hour of botched jibes, miscued tacks, and some untimely errors of the likes we haven't seen before. But it's all good. The sooner we make mistakes the sooner we can learn how to avoid them. And the sooner we apply a bit of that pressure to our sailing, the sooner we can learn how to handle it.
We are by no means 'racing' Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to England, the rules strictly prohibit organized sailing and any form of two-boat testing. Now that the two of us are offshore we must remain at least two miles apart from each other and there is to be no tracking of progress or recording of data whatsoever. But do not get us wrong: they are out here, we are out here, and the unanimous goal is to be the first boat on the dock in England. Team Alvimedica website