Tuesday, 24 November 2009

TJV: Less than 1000 miles for Aviva in the Transat Jacques Vabre

by Kelly Russell

After two weeks of racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre, Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson, onboard Aviva, have entered the Caribbean Sea with less than 1000 miles to the finish line in Costa Rica.

The British duo has continued to race hard and managed to close the gap on their closest rival, Veolia Environnement, to just 4 miles. Caffari and Thompson will slow while passing the northern tip of St Lucia later today to collect a part for their faulty generator.

The 10h00 race ranking positioned Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson, onboard Aviva, in eighth place, 916 miles behind race leader Safran.

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson’s latest diary entry received on 22 November 2009 at 0845 GMT:

“Today at around lunchtime, hundreds of participants will set off from Las Palmas, Gran Canarias on the ARC, Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, destined for St Lucia in the Caribbean. For some it will be their first Ocean crossing and for others they will veterans of the event and will enjoy the camaraderie of the other boats and sailors.

“Eight years ago, that was me, setting off from the Canaries on my first Atlantic Crossing. I was responsible for yacht, crew and guests and I remember that adrenalin buzz, I still get it. I also never forget how relieved, chuffed and grateful I was for the sight, 30 miles away on the horizon, of a tropical island. Even better still it was the right Island, St Lucia.

“Now today I will be having the same feeling. Although it is not our destination, it is our entry into the Caribbean Sea and the final 1000 miles of this race. It is also the place where we hope a little pit stop will give us the power we need to run as normal as possible for the remaining race. Generator issues have left us running on next to nothing to use as little power as possible which has meant less weather information, less position reports, less routing with the chart software and deliberation. It has also been in the back of our minds that we would be struggling with no power as this charge allows us to operate our hydraulic keel and also our water-makers. Both of these can be hand pumped but in the heights if the temperatures down below no one would want to wish that on anyone. So eight years on and I am sailing back to the Island of St Lucia.”

Aviva Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

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