Volvo Ocean Race: “I am proud of them…” The enormity of the challenge is brought home to Caudrelier
Another windless night but the new wind has finally started to touch the fleet and Dongfeng whilst having first gained, is now seeing the peloton come back at them chipping away at the miles.
Last night was another windless one, but the new wind has finally started to touch the fleet and Dongfeng whilst having first gained, is now seeing the peloton come back at them chipping away at the miles. Dongfeng is sailing with wind from a different direction, but also trying to drag themselves north to cover the chasing pack who gained more northerly position during the light and variable stuff. Actually though, we thought Charles’ blog today was far more powerful and interesting than the tactics – right to the core instead of the Dongfeng Race Team mission. Read on, and feel the passion in Mr Caudrelier’s words when he talks about the incredible progress of our Chinese sailors. A journey that started just under a year ago in the port we are now aiming for – Sanya, China – still just over 2000 miles to go, nearly an entire translatlantic in distance to the finish, and under 400 miles now to Sumatra and the funnel towards Singapore.
“Flat calm. Our average speed over the last 24 hours is less than 3 knots!
Its torture waiting to see each 6 hourly position report, but although we’ve been slow this past 24 hours, we’ve been often surprised to find we’ve been faster than our friends.
Last night started badly, not a ripple on the water for the first 3 hours, we can see the stars reflected on the silver water – beautiful but we’d prefer not to see it!
We are impatient to return home to Sanya, our training base where one year ago our story began – where I first met our Chinese sailors.”
“I am watching them with admiration, we’re leading this leg, we’re at the top of the overall leaderboard – you can’t compete with the race favourites without a great team. And to build a great team, you need great players. Thinking about the journey of the Chinese sailors since February 2014. Black didn’t speak a word of English, and had never spent a night at sea. But from the first day he really impressed us – then he quit straight away after his first offshore sailing, beaten by the brutality of the bad weather – and then a few months later he returned. To start your offshore sailing career with a Volvo Ocean Race is brutal. This afternoon I was watching him trim the sails, and I realised that he’s learnt thousands of details in a very short period of time. Its the same for Kit who is realising his life’s dream onboard right now, his first offshore race. This evening he gave me a Chinese lesson, and it reinforced the enormity of the challenge they [the Chinese sailors] are taking on, learning in 6 months to sail and to work in a previously unknown language.”
“I am proud of them.”
Meanwhile, our OBR explains the importance of vitamins onboard! And manages to get a few words out of our quietest crew member, Thomas Rouxel – whilst admitting that he needs to talk like Apple’s Siri for the Franco-Chinese crew to understand him!