Monday, 19 March 2012 | by ADOR
A very tough start to another leg for us aboard Azzam - not only did we bust our j4 bulkhead but we also missed our weather window to leave Auckland on time. The fringe of the low-pressure system that the fleet would have battled against last night has now escaped us, leaving the centre and strongest part of the system directly upon us. Earlier we tried poking our nose out and saw forty-five knots of breeze – about an hour up the track wind readings are showing into the sixties - hurricane force. As of right now we are sitting just off North Head in Auckland harbour biding our time. Similar to the start of last leg, there is never a reason to set sail from relative safety into hurricane force winds.
Our plan is to hold tight for at least another couple hours until the peak of the low passes. In reality, we are already a day or so behind in the leg. Caning ourselves, and our boat in 60+ knots will do us no good. In fact, it may even help our cause to wait the extra hours and then sail a proper course. None of this has been easy, and believe it or not, we would rather have been getting thrashed last night with the rest of the fleet then tucked up in a hotel room watching the leg slip away from us online.
Furthermore – we must not forget the absolutely massive effort of our shore team this stopover and in particular last night. It is a tall order to have one of these machines fully serviced in a week. But to have a major structural repair done in essentially 12 hours is nearly a miracle. Not to mention all the efforts of the logistics team and management that took care of everything we needed and allowed us to get some sleep. Well done! Now it’s time to go hammer out some miles and attempt to dig back into the fleet – don’t count us out just yet. Azzam’s got some legs on her downwind…
date: Monday, 19 March 2012 14:21:53 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing / Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is not responsible for third party comments on the website.