Hamish Hooper blogs from sea on Day 1 of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race
Goodbye Cape Town, thanks for having us and showing us such a great time!
Almost exactly two weeks from when we pulled into the dock at the end of leg 1 to an amazing welcome reception, we cast off the lines to begin leg 2.
The two weeks seemed to go in the blink of an eye – as it always does when you get comfortable in such a nice place.
While the sailing team had a few days off, the legendary CAMPER shore crew was working almost around the clock under the guidance of their wise and wonderful leader Coxy. The pride that each of them takes in their work and the boat is always astounding. So once CAMPER was splashed back into the water she looked near new and raring to go.
Much like the sailing crew today… compared to how they looked two weeks ago. They’re freshly shaven, and the missing kilograms are all but right back where they were in Alicante.
Within minutes of reluctantly stepping on the boat and saying the emotional goodbyes to loved ones on the dock the guys seem to just flick a switch and focus swings entirely to racing and looking forward to doing all they possibly can to reach the next port ahead of all the other boats.
The in-port part of the start was all on seeing up to 20 knots and racing up, down and all aound before rounding the final mark and setting off along the coast toward the Cape of Good Hope.
With each mile the wind began to ease and the fleet was slowed to a stand still off the beautiful Hout Bay for several hours.
Sailing these boats fast is exhilarating, sailing them in next no wind is pretty exciting too.
As I looked up at the instruments and see we were doing 0.00 knots, I raise the potentially inappropriate point that sailing is a little similar to cricket in that there is such variation in the sport. Blasting along in these boats is like a game of 20/20 cricket, fast and furious. Delicately nursing a VO70 in next to no wind is like test match cricket – slow and calculated.
One thing I learnt today on deck is that there aren’t too many other test cricket fans on board. Speaking of which, I wonder if the Black Caps have beaten the Aussies yet? I hope so or Will Oxley will be sure to get his usual 10 cents of gloating in… again. But at least we can shut him up by simply saying three words, “Rugby World Cup”
With only a matter of hours gone so far in this leg, there have alreay been and will continue to be vital decisions to be made as this leg is shaping up to be a very tricky one with all the usual pitfalls and then some.
Asking Will about what the weather models are showing for this leg, his reply, “With the wind like it is right now, we might be having Christmas in Africa yet.”