On the eve of the V&A Waterfront In-Port Race the Volvo Ocean Race skippers, and one co-skipper, share their reflections on the chaos of Leg 1, and their hopes for the in-port and Leg 2 races.
Team Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez:
“We’re not feeling any more pressure than after the in-port race in Alicante. Obviously it was a great race weekend, all the teams are very happy, all the teams want to be good and we’d like to fight for the race. I think we were very lucky in how we did and how we made the decisions, and it was probably far more easy for us than the ones who had the problems, in the end for us everything was much more simple. Looking to the future, I’m sure everything will be very close, so we’re just looking forward to it.”
Groupama sailing team skipper Franck Cammas:
“The mood of the crew is good because we finished third. But it’s not our wish to go in a different direction to the fleet. It was like that but it wasn’t our goal. We were confident in our option and we went. We were wrong for sure and I hope for the next leg will be together and I hope six boats finish the race as well.
I’m happy with it [having less spreaders]. For sure it’s a question we talked about with our team. It’s not a problem about the reliability of the mast. It’s not a problem that we have less spreaders. I’m very confident in the design of the rig.”
Team Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson:
“The boat only came off the ship last Wednesday and to get it sailing yesterday was unbelievable really. I can’t give enough praise to the people involved with it; it has just blown us away. We’re in a very similar situation to Kenny, we just need to go out tomorrow and we’ll also be pretty pleased just to make it around the track and, more to the point, to be ready to start on Sunday - - for us that’s really what its about.
The biggest risk for me with Africa is that my family want to move here permanently and we won’t leave at all.”
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand co-skipper/watch captain Stu Bannatyne:
“We are very happy to be just two points from the lead, but we are not taking being in second place for granted, we know there are improvements to be made and we know we can improve. The in-port tomorrow is a chance for us to sail well and come out in the lead heading into the next leg, so we're looking forward to that and to the leg itself.
The worry we all worry about, and one we can do nothing about, is the risk of hitting an object in the water we can’t see. When you do hit something like that you don’t know how bad the damage will be. We’ll be keeping our eyes open but at the end of the day the consequences could be catastrophic.”
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker:
“I think we’re in good shape. We made some pretty bold decisions after the mishap out of the start - - some changes that involved a lot of work and redesigning and there’s a reasonable amount of risk involved in those decision in order to get everything ready in time for Cape Town. But I don’t think we could have hoped to be in a better position to where we were three or four weeks ago.”
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG skipper Ken Read:
“We’re just so pleased that we’re here to day, for quite a while it didn’t look good, matter of fact it looked pretty bad. If I were a betting man about 15 days ago I would have bet we wouldn’t make this start, but due to a lot of amazing work from a lot of amazing people and a couple of lucky breaks we’re here today and that’s all we can ask for. Are we bummed out because we lost the points? Of course we are. But we think we know why the mast fell down and that’s important because a lot of times when a mast falls down you don’t really know why, and we think we’ve made the right corrections and tomorrow I’m just excited to finish a race, that’s our goal.
We’re not fully up to speed yet, today was a big day for us, it was really the first day in a long, long time where everything happened without a hitch, we had no set backs today. We just have to start building on that, take tomorrow for what it is, it’s just another opportunity to get a few points and get our heads back into racing and then take on this next leg.
We think it was a small stainless steel piece that holds the D1, the lower diagonal shroud, was actually made form the wrong material.
We’re a little relieved that even the forecast for tomorrow isn’t really windy. The stuff we did today for example, sailing around on the boat, is the stuff you do months and months before you even start a race, so that’s how far back we’ve actually had to step. I think it puts us in a spot tomorrow where we’re much more comfortable.
Ian’s in the same position as us, we only have one mast left, we do something stupid and potentially we’re out of this race completely, or for some time. So we have to temper ourselves a little bit, but then of course the competitive side of you and you get a sniff and you’re going to forget the rest of it pretty quickly.
So we need to get some positive vibes here with our program, and our boat and feel comfortable with our boat again and everything will be fine.”