If you are having difficulty reading this email or would like to change language - CLICK HERE. To respond to this email CLICK HERE
04 Apr 2014
Nobody ever said the Volvo Ocean Race is easy – or even the training. There's a refreshingly honest report here from the Chinese Dongfeng Team who set out from Sanya, Hainan, 11 days ago to sail to Auckland, New Zealand, by way of a training session for the offshore newbies on board. It would be a grand thing if more reports out of China were this ‘straight', instead of the usual fare we are dealt about how everything is the biggest, best, glitziest, most wonderful and altogether fantastic event in the world. This goes for races, regattas, and boat shows, and 90% of it is pure guff.
Every sailor worth his salty socks has a tale to tell, otherwise they'd always be buying their own drinks at the bar. I was plum scared at the start of my first ocean crossing – a delivery of a 38' race boat from Manila to Hong Kong in the aftermath of a China Sea Race. On the first night we blew out the main (which already had three reefs in it), and I remember lashing the end of the boom to the toenail while throwing up, throwing up, and then throwing up some more. Heaven knows what the windspeed was. A lot.
Next morning - and things all look better in daylight - the wind was still blowing old boots, and the swell at least as high as the mast. One moment we were in the Slough of Despond, and moments later we were Kings of the Ocean as a large lump of the South China Sea surged through underneath us. After a couple of hours of this, and the gradually dawning realisation that a 38' boat floated quite happily in these conditions, and that the swell, although huge, was not breaking on top of us... and all of a sudden life on watch became a competition to better the top speed of the previous helmsman. Bear away a shade as the swell came under the boat, start surfing, and we were hitting bursts of 16 and 18kts with just a storm trysail and a blast reacher. Huge fun, and not at all scary. It was 1988.
Now spare a thought for the crewman who went overboard from one of the Clipper boats in mid-Pacific, 2,000nm from land. He was in the water for 90 minutes, and (presumably) pretty damn scared before the boat found him and fished him out of the water. This was not South-Pacific-islands-tropical-idyll water, mind; this was the North Pacific on the great circle route from Japan up-and-over heading for the USA. Damn cold.
Sail-World will be heading down to Singapore next week for the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference and the Singapore Yacht Show, from whence we look forward to bringing you bulletins of a more comfortable sort. My friend Noah also says it'll be good to get away from Hong Kong for a few days before the whole place turns into a paddy field, and the perennial shortage of moorings is solved by everyone parking their boats in the middle of Central.
Click HEREIf you liked this newsletter, do nothing, we will send you another ..
Naa, please don't send me another.
Follow Sail-World on Twitter
Customised news feeds
Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have asked can they received their own customised
version of our Sail-World news feed. The answer is yes; customised in content, news category, for example or region of the world and appearance.
CLICK HEREto view examples and get free news tickers for your site.
Too much sailing news? Not enough?
Change the frequency of newsletters, from once a week to a monthly newsletter. Change from html (graphics & pictures) newsletters to text only newsletter, (best for slow connections, mobile phones and PDA's etc. Change from Sail-World New Zealand Newsletters to Sail-World Cruising International Newsletters etc. Temporarily inactivate your subscription for a period, when you will be on holidays etc. or change to text for the same period. Or even (gasp) unsubscribe. Change your newsletter subscription profile here or take off list