Crew changes in the Global Ocean Race

Three of the six Class 40s change co-skippers in Cape Town

Thursday November 17th 2011, Author: Ollie Dewar, Location: South Africa

With ten days remaining until the start of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand, on Sunday 27 November, three of the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race campaigns are taking the ‘Team Option’ of changing co-skippers in Cape Town. Marco Nannini with Financial Crisis; Conrad Colman with Cessna Citation and Nico Budel with Sec. Hayai are all swapping co-skippers for the 7,000-mile Leg 2 through the Indian Ocean.

Dutch competitor, Nico Budel has always planned to sail on Leg 2 with his 41 year-old son, Frans, providing the second father-and-son team in the GOR joining the New Zealand team and Leg 1 winners, Ross and Campbell Field with their Class40, BSL. While 72 year-old Budel Senior was ecstatic at finishing Leg 1 with his close friend, Ruud van Rijsewijk, sailing with his son brings a new dimension to the race. “It’s great to be sailing with my Dad,” confirms Frans, who arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday. “He and Ruud sailed an amazing Leg 1 and we’re planning push it even further for Leg 2,” he confirms. For Budel Junior, arriving in Wellington after around 30 days in the high latitudes has an additional appeal: “My elder sister has been living in Auckland for 23 years and I last saw her two years ago,” he explains. “There is something very special about sailing across a huge ocean to meet my sister.”

For New Zealand competitor, Conrad Colman, changing co-skipper is a financial necessity: “While the generous and invaluable support of Cessna Citation is making this round-the-world campaign possible, the reality is that I need to take paying co-skippers,” explains the 27 year-old Kiwi. “My business partners in Mallorca dropping out at the last minute nearly killed the project and this is the only way I can continue,” he adds. “It brings new challenges and – I suppose – it’s a bit like an extreme version of the Clipper Race!”

For Leg 2, Colman will be joined by 51 year-old British sailor, Chris Mincham. “It’s clearly a very quick boat,” says Mincham of Colman’s Akilaria RC2, Cessna Citation. Having arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday night, Mincham was down on the GOR Race pontoons at North Wharf in the V&A Waterfront Marina early the following morning. “I’ve got to familiarise myself with the boat pretty quickly with the start getting close,” he continues. “I expect we’ll be running our own watches, but the key will be getting the boat going in the right direction.” Colman and Mincham will leave Cape Town to complete their GOR qualifying passage in the next few days.

Like Colman, for Marco Nannini with Class40 Financial Crisis, the change of co-skipper for Leg 2 is unscheduled. In Leg 1, Nannini raced with his friend and co-skipper Paul Peggs, taking third place, but Peggs has retired from the race and returned to the UK for personal reasons. Meanwhile, 26 year-old sailor, Hugo Ramon will move to Financial Crisis from his role of co-skipper to Conrad Colman on Cessna Citation.

“After Paul’s tough decision not to carry on, I’m really lucky to find such a talented sailor as Hugo,” says Nannini. “Through sailing Leg 1 with Conrad, he’s already completed 7,000 miles of really tough Class40 racing and there is no need for a separate qualifier before setting off from Cape Town,” he continues. “We’re really looking forward to going deep ocean racing together.”

At the end of GOR Leg 1, it looked like the end of Hugo Ramon’s round-the-world dream: “I just didn’t know how I could carry on,” he explains. “My first objective is to do this race and all my emotions and my head are completely connected to the event,” Ramon continues. “Hopefully we’ll do the next two legs together and I’m completely sure we’ll make a good team. Getting on well together is the most important thing and as Marco knows the boat so well and has a lot of experience sailing Financial Crisis, we’re a very competitive duo.”

Global Ocean Race crew list for Leg 2 (Cape Town-Wellington) and Leg 1 points:

1. BSL: Ross and Campbell Field (NZL/NZL) 35 points in GOR Leg 1
2. Campagne de France: Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron (FRA/GBR) 31 points in GOR Leg 1
3. Financial Crisis: Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon (ITA/ESP) 23 points in GOR Leg 1
4. Cessna Citation: Conrad Colman and Chris Mincham (NZ/GBR) 19 points in GOR Leg 1
5. Phesheya-Racing: Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire (RSA/RSA) 12 points in GOR Leg 1
6. Sec. Hayai: Nico Budel and Frans Budel (NDL/NDL) 6 points in GOR Leg 1

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