Tuesday, 10 May 2011

VOR: CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand Finishes Tour of New Zealand and Sets off on Qualifying Trip

Day One - 2,000 mile qualifying trip

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand on their tour of New Zealand. Image copyright Chris Cameron.

Videos from the Tour around New Zealand


Wellington to Dunedin:

by Hamish Hooper

Well I guess that’s our NZ tour done and dusted!

Christchurch & Lyttelton was amazing. We lost count very early on of how many people we had through CAMPER. They didn’t stop!

It was an awesome visit, but extremely sobering for us all to see the devastation still very evident since the February 22nd earthquake, and the hardship the people of Canterbury have been going through.

Doing this Volvo race is extreme & the adversities the sailors put themselves through are immense, however they chose to put themselves through it, the people of Christchurch have no choice, but they seem to be confronting everyday with a smile and typical stoic attitude - one which I will remember when doing this Volvo race!

A prime example: Lunch at the Navel Point yacht club when a short sharp & immense aftershock rocked the whole building, the local members paused - then laughed. Most of our team paused then almost soiled themselves.

So finally we are off on our 2000-mile qualifier. My anxiety levels have slowly been on the rise for the past few days, which is normal for me I think. A cloud of apprehension always seems to hover close to me until we leave the dock, and then its always a relief to just get going on the journey and start ticking the miles over.

Unfortunately the miles weren’t ticking over too quickly today. I think the max wind speed we saw today was 12 knots. We weren’t going any faster.

The weather prospects are not looking great for a while.

Sail change on board the VO70. Image copyright Hamish Hooper.

Will Oxley and Andy McLean have both been rather vocal today. Will regularly updating us with the never improving outlook. Andy reminding us he did the 2000-mile qualifier for the last race in 4 days. That’s not going to happen this time.

We keep heading northeast.

I ask everyone where Pitcairn Island is. It starts an interesting discussion.

The mellow breeze allowed for a bit more sail testing, a bit of maintenance & in Trae’s case, a bit of cleaning. He is rostered on the cleaning for the day and certainly took it on in an enthusiastic fashion- So much so that toilet is closed. He proudly announced that the toilet is so stunningly cleaned that no one is allowed to use it until tomorrow.

I’m not sure this is going to happen.

Note from SailRaceWin: Trae is the nickname for Tony Rae.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
Volvo Ocean Race