Monday, 28 March 2011

BWR: Transitioning to the Trades for HUGO BOSS

Andy Meiklejohn (steering) and Wouter Verbraak (left) on HUGO BOSS, looking a bit wet! Image copyright Wouter Verbraak/Alex Thomson Racing.

by Wouter Verbraak

Squalls and lighter winds mark the transition between the southerly winds that have carried us up from the Falklands, and the Trades along the Brazil coast. Today we are negotiating this boundary, which means we will have to put in hard. With winds trying to make up their mind whether they still belong to the southerlies, or already to the trades, we are shifting gear all the time. Jib in, jib out, staysail in, staysail out. The wind is never the same for more than a few minutes.

Water temperatures are now up in the twenties, so living conditions on board have improved significantly. The southerly winds are still cool, so we were in thermals through the night. This afternoon I think it is going to be boots off for the first time in sixty days! It will be great to give the feet a bit of air, and I might even give shorts and T-shirt a go!!

Thoughts and watch change talks are more and more about our families and plans for after the race. We both have some intense crewed sailing lined up for the season, and are wondering how on earth we are going to get our muscle-less bodies back into shape. The first bike ride is going to be a rather slow affair, I am afraid!

Franck Cammas on his grinder-bike on board Groupama 3. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Sea&Co/Groupama.

Note from SailRaceWin: We understand that the advantages of Franck Cammas' bike for grinding on Groupama 3 (used by him in the Route du Rhum last year) have been discussed by Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak on board HUGO BOSS, in the interests of avoiding so much leg muscle wastage. (Upper body only gets exercise from grinding at present.)

Alex Thomson Racing
Barcelona World Race