Kosatka, Team Russia's challenger for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, has left Portland, UK, bound for the start port of Alicante.
Skipper Andreas Hanakamp and his crew have been preparing Kosatka for this moment, fighting the terrible weather in the UK over the last week. A series of low-pressure systems brought torrential floods and gale force winds preventing the shore team from reattaching the keel and stepping its new mast. With a break in the weather on Monday, it was all hands on deck to reassemble the boat after a major refit, upgrades and refinements. Kosatka is expected to arrive in Spain by the weekend.
Ukrainian helmsman Rodion Luka joins the team for the delivery. Rodion has just returned from the Olympics in Qingdao, China where he was representing his country in the 49er class. Nina Gruendler the Team Russia's doctor is also onboard, during the passage she will be running through a series of medical emergencies to train the crew how to a handle everything from fractures to head injuries.
Once in Alicante, the Team Russia crew will participate in safety training, weather briefing and team preparations while Kosatka is officially measured. The team will then prepare for the in-port and pro-am races on October 4-5, prior to the start of the first leg to Cape Town on October 11.
'Portland's been a great training base for the last three months, but now we're looking forward to going to Spain,' said Hanakamp as he left the dock for the 1700 mile sail south to Alicante.
Michael Woods, Team Russia's CEO added, ' Portland has been a fantastic training base and will no doubt provide and excellent venue for the Olympic in 2012.' www.teamrussia.org