Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Volvo Ocean Race Starts Tomorrow

This'll be the first time I've followed an around-the-world sailing race and I'm so damned excited. I've been trying to keep up with all the info about boats, skippers, statistics, crew, etc, but it's a bit overwhelming. One thing that blows my mind is that all the competition yachts are 70 feet long, and can sail at a max speed of 30 knots! That's about 40 miles an hour! I can't imagine trying to control a yacht that size at that speed. One minor disappointment is the USA's yacht, the Black Pearl. I mean, I liked the Pirates of the Caribbean as much as the next guy, but it's just wrong that Disney is sponsoring something as hardcore and genuine as a sailing circumnavigation. That pisses me off.

Throughout the whole race I can keep daily tabs on what's happening, even if they're in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The race will definitely get me through winter, and in April '06, they're stopping in Annapolis and Baltimore so maybe I'll get to swill champagne with Paul Cayard.

Sailing harkens back to days of yore, when the sea was treacherous and uncharted, and a sailing yacht was the only vehicle that could conquer it. Not sure what I'm talking about? This photo explains it:

Yea, you got it ...
"Just got called up half way through writing this with a 46 knot squall!!! Am just now back in the nav station, four hours later after getting the reacher down, getting it packed and stacked, getting the new sail up and then frantically bailing out the back of the boat, where we have a hole in the deck where the steering pedestal has ripped off... This is seriously hardcore..."

Seven meter seas and 46 knot winds? It's amazing no one is dead!!
I've only been sailing a few times, and always on placid waters. I can only imagine the rush of working under open sea conditions. Sounds like it can get to be an expensive hobby, what with things getting ripped off the boat all the time.
Hey Mass,

Most people don't get things ripped off their boats! It's not that expensive. I got my boat for free (long story, and no, not through a family member) and all the money I've put into it has been well spent.
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