Business as usual

The Volvo fleet are hard on the wind again

Monday January 28th 2002, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: Transoceanic
A message from Knut Frostad

The First Hard Night

The first night is always the hardest one. It takes a while to get into the rhythm and routines onboard. After having spent the last twenty nights in a very nice big bed in Auckland, it's tough to get up at midnight for your first night watch on deck.

Right now we are side by side with illbruck and News Corp. All the top boats are very close together. Every half an hour we take a compass bearing on the nav lights around us, to see if we have gained or lost. Right now we are in the middle of Bay of Plenty, aiming for East Cape, our last corner to round before we head off for the Southern Ocean. We have most of the others to weather of us, after we managed to sneak in between some rocks (Ohinau Island) and the main land. The boats outside us have burned off some of the leverage and gone forward on us. At the same time, the wind has started to go right, which is better again for us. However, it's going to be a tricky night. If you get too far into the bay, you will get less wind, so we have to watch the whole fleet carefully. We are prepared for a long night with dropping wind. For sure there will be some frustrating moments, but then again, it's even more important to stay cool.

It feels a bit strange right now. Here we are sailing side by side in flat water, only seven knots of wind. It's so quiet I can hear the guys breathing in their bunks. In a week we will hardly hear our voice for all the noise on deck from waves breaking over the deck, winches grinding and crew screaming.

As always it was a spectacular start in Auckland. New Zealanders certainly know how to show their passion for sailing. A big thanks from all of us on djuice, to all our sponsors, supporters and all the spectators who showed up at the start. We won't forget... the contrast from the Viaduct in Auckland packed with smiling faces to the pitch black night out here is pretty big.

All the best from Knut and crew on djuice

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