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15 Feb 2013, 09:51UTC

Inside the washing machine

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PEDRO FREITAS/Volvo Ocean Race
So you’re dreaming of being one of the Onboard Reporters for the next edition of sailing's premier offshore race. But do you really know what it would be like? Here is what Volvo Ocean Race’s Pedro Freitas is going through onboard the MAPFRE transatlantic challenge…

"Imagine taking two cameras, a laptop and a GoPro and then getting inside a washing machine" - Pedro Freitas

Onboard MAPRE, 14 February 2013 at 18:33:45 CET

Imagine taking two cameras, a laptop and a GoPro and then getting inside a washing machine. Turn it on and now, while you are inside, try to report what’s going on to rest of the world. 

That’s what I’m doing right now, writing from the middle of nowhere onboard a Volvo Open 70 sailing downwind at 25 knots. 

Believe me, despite the tough conditions on board, despite the lack of sleep, the darkness and the moisture of the depths of the VO70 Mapfre, this is one of the most amazing things I have done in my life. 

46 hours ago I was having a nice Spanish meal in the port of La Gomera thinking about the challenge ahead. Right now we are heading west to the Bahamas, trying to catch the trade winds after sailing south for a day and gybing just 300 miles from the north of Cape Verde, Africa. 

The crew of Desafio Mapfre is trying to set a new record following exactly the same route Columbus did in 1492 departing from Palos de La Frontera (Huelva), making a pit stop in La Gomera (Canary Islands) and then finishing in San Salvador (Bahamas). 

This time the crew skippered by former round the world sailor and Olympic medalist Fernando Echávarri is trying to push this red boat (former Telefónica) to her limits. I’m pretty sure that if we keep doing these speeds we will get to the Bahamas quicker than Columbus.

Pedro Freitas

The MAPFRE crew is trying to establish a new record for the Christopher Columbus 'Discovery of the Americas' Route onboard the team’s old Volvo Open 70 Telefónica. The team left La Gomera on Tuesday 12 February at 19:55:08 CET and expects to reach San Salvador in 10 days. Track them here!

And if you still think you've got what it takes to do Pedro’s job, please send a cover letter and resumé to reporters@volvooceanrace.com.

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PEDRO FREITAS/Volvo Ocean Race

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