Djuice Dragons updateDjuice Dragons' two Volvo Ocean 60s are preparing to leave the team's Miami training camp today bound for Baltimore/Annapolis on the first leg of their voyage back to Europe. The boats are ultimately heading for the Baltic, and Knut Frostad, skipper of the Norwegian team says the plan is to walk the course of the new latter portion of September's Volvo Ocean Race. The two identical boats - both Laurie Davidson designs rather than the standard Farr & Associates offerings - are fitted with the latest in telemetry equipment and will use the time to continue their two boat sail development program and to refine their polars.
The two black and pink VO60s carrying 25 sailors from seven countries will arrive in Annapolis on May 18, stopping for 36 hours before setting out for La Rochelle on Sunday 20th. (ETA for La Rochelle is June 2, Gothenburg June 8 and Sandefjord June 9.)
Prior to their departure their base in downtown Miami has been at full throttle with work going on until the early hours of the morning, commencing again only a few hours later, in order to be fully prepared for this trip. Food has been packed and vacuum sealed while mountains of hot pink Helly Hansen oilskins have been labelled and lined up for the sailors. Safety gear, navigation, communication, rigging, running rigging, tools, sails, radio and satellite gear - everything is being checked and double checked. Djuice dragons are approaching this trip back to Europe as a race so the highly charged atmosphere is as close as possible to the real thing.
Crew on board djuice I are the race team,while djuice II will have the training team on board, along with a few guest stars. Erle Williams, currently tactician for Team New Zealand will be skipper, while former Silk Cut/Rothmans crewman Vincent Geake will navigate. Mark Mendelblatt, currently with One World America’s Cup team will join the trim/helm lineup. The crews will change slightly for each leg.
For the trip up to Baltimore the crew line-up is as follows:
Jonas Wackenhuth, SWE, bow 1
Mikael Lundh, SWE, bow 2
Jean-Yves Bernot, FRA, navigator
Ed Baird, USA, tact/helm
Knut Frostad, NOR, skipper
Stig Westergaard, DEN, tact/helm
Christen Horn Johannessen, NOR, trim/helm
Billy Merrington, AUS, trim/helm
Espen Guttormsen, NOR, trim/helm
Spike Doriean, AUS, trim/helm
Jacques Vincent, FRA, trim/helm
Wouter Verbraak, NED, co-navigator
Jon Nash, GBR, photographer
Justin Clougher, AUS, bow 1
Per Jonsson, SWE, bow 2
Vincent Geake, GBR, navigator
Erle Williams, NZL, skipper
Colin Booth, NZL, tact/helm
Jeff Gladchun, USA, trim/helm
Dalton Bergan, USA, trim/helm
Johnny Mourdant, IRE, trim/helm
Mark Mendelblatt, USA, trim/helm
Arve Roas, NOR, trim/helm
Steve Gruver, USA, trim/helm
Anthony Nossiter, AUS, trim/helm
Keats Keeley, USA, trim/helm
Meanwhile in Miami, Shore Manager, Bjørge Grimholt is leading the operations for packdown. He quips it is a case study in organised chaos theory. Bikes, rollerblades, tennis racquets and personal luggage are loaded while the offices, the kitchen, sail loft and dining tent are being dismantled and loaded into the containers to go back to Norway.