Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Auckland to Fiji : CAMPER ETNZ Media Man Hamish Hooper Reports

Hamish Hooper, Media Crew Member, CAMPER ETNZ. Image copyright Chris Cameron/CAMPER.

by Hamish Hooper

I am very disappointed.

Not in the fantastic start Nico, Stu and the guys all nailed, to get us in a strong position off the line to Fiji.

Not at the fact Vodafone chose to go way right out behind Great Barrier Island and are now close to 100 miles behind us.

Not in the fact that the guys on watch are constantly busy doing everything they can to make the boat eeek out every little bit of boat speed they can.

But very disappointed in the fact that I was bloody well sick again! It’s like a really bad hangover and you haven’t even been able to enjoy the party before hand! How cruel is that!

Not long after I was sitting on deck, fit as a fiddle, in very light 10- 12 knots under a balmy winters sun thinking, “What utterly pleasant & relaxing sailing conditions”, did I have to race to the stern and have a chunder. How pathetic. And so for the next 24 hours I have been sick about every four hours, which I guess puts me somewhat in the boat watch system with everyone else... the ‘Watch Hamish be sick system.’ Dalts was lucky to avoid a good one I had, watching me closely as I finished retching he said to me, “Yep - that was a stomach clearer! Nice one!” It’s great to have Dalts on board, he always tells it like it is.

The race has been a good one so far for CAMPER. It has been very interesting watching the guys in ‘race mode’; you could almost see a switch go off inside them all about 15 minutes from the start.

It’s one thing sailing together testing sails or just delivering the boat from A-B and watching the dynamic on board, but its another thing watching the guys work in race mode. This is where the calm intensity and professionalism really start to shine. Seeing Will & Andy McLean constantly watching the weather and plotting our course, and being totally spot on. Seeing Nico & Stu calmly go about their business as watch leaders in which nothing seems to faze them, just always calm. Maybe this has something to do with the conditions being so calm, who knows, but still its pretty impressive and a strong sign of the crew we have on board.

It’s slowly getting warmer the further north we get, I am constantly hearing about how good it’s going to be when get there from Mike Pammenter. He tells me he is going to be straight into his Speedo budgie smugglers to take in the tropical goodness. I’m not so sure how good this part of getting there will be.

Maybe the local Fijian girls will like the sight, it could make me sick again.

So far so good for CAMPER and hopefully things are looking up for me too. Time for me to get up on deck and see if I can be useful again!