For Irishman Frankie Leonard, the dedicated Media Crew Member (MCM) aboard Mike Sanderson’s Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 entry Team Sanya, racing in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race has more significance than simply competing in one of the classic offshore yacht races.
"I have not prepared any meals during this race yet I’m but planning on dishing up Chicken Korma for the guys later tonight.”
Speaking on board the Chinese boat a few hours after the start of the race, Galway-born Leonard was thoroughly enjoying his first competitive sail aboard the Volvo Open 70 and greatly looking forward to getting a brief glimpse of his homeland when he and the crew reach the Fastnet Rock, estimated to be sometime on Monday evening.
“The mood onboard is pretty good right now," he said. "The other two Volvo Ocean Race boats -- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Groupama 4 -- are in front of us at the moment but we know that there is still a long way to go in this race. We are ready for the challenge and going to push as hard as we can. As an Irishman it’s great to be heading for good old Ireland and I am looking forward to seeing it when we blast past the Fastnet -- hopefully at about 30 knots.”
Based on the latest weather predictions Frankie could well find his wish comes true, with the breeze set to increase significantly as the three Volvo Ocean Race boats approach the rock tomorrow evening. However, Frankie should be careful what he wishes for, as life on board a Volvo Open 70 in big breeze can be pretty challenging, particularly for a newbie MCM, who as well as his media duties will be required to prepare hot meals for the rest of the crew.
On board Team Sanya this evening Frankie seemed relaxed about the challenges ahead. “Like everyone else in the crew, I am just planning to stay focused on my specific tasks and do the best job I can. I have not prepared any meals during this race yet I’m but planning on dishing up Chicken Korma for the guys later tonight.”
- 15 Aug 2011Elastic fantastic -- the Fastnet's private match race
- 15 Aug 2011Rolex Fastnet Race -- day two updates
- 15 Aug 2011Charging batteries, cooking porridge
- 14 Aug 2011Azzam tears away to give Walker perfect start
- 13 Aug 2011Fierce conditions await Fastnet Volvo Open 70s
- 5 Aug 2011Frankie's blog: Sanya prepare to get 'gleam machine' wet