Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 7

                                                                              Billie Weiss-VOR

When reporters cover the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) every four years it invariably becomes a rehash and analysis of the tactics surrounding each tortuous leg of this round-the-world sailing slugfest.  These two boats sailed west while these three boats sailed east, and this boat cruised down the middle.  Throw in some nautical jargon and you’re off to the races.  But to non-sailors, it’s all pretty boring and meaningless.
                                                                Armory Ross - Team Alvimedica

 In the end, there is a lot of guess work that goes into what course each boat takes.  And the plain and simple fact is that the route they choose to sail would be entirely different if they sailed between the same two cities the following week.  The only constant in this crazy mix is that the conditions across the planet’s oceans are changing every second and the wind charts, satellite images, and ocean current models all get dumped into the navigator’s and skipper’s mental blenders and then they make a gut decision.
                                                                            Yann Riou - Dongfeng

One thing that often gets lost in the shuffle is how the crew on each boat feed their guts each day.  In a sport where boat weight is so important, sailors have been known to shave down their tooth brushes, and drinking cups often double as food dishes.  Every ounce matters with so evenly–matched, one design boats and food is a big part of that equation.
                                                                             Billie Weiss-VOR

So, what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, like from China to New Zealand?
                                                                         Ainhoa Sanchez-VOR

Here is the food order sent by Stefan Coppers for Team Brunel to their shore crew for the 4,500-mile fourth leg to Auckland.
                                                                           Billie Weiss-VOR

- 990 bars of which 445 protein bars (for power) 220 grain and 225 tasty chocolate: Kit-Kat or Twix
- 22 bags beef Jerky
- 22 rolls of Isostar tablets. The only thing we drink is water. With Isostar we kill two birds with one stone. It tastes better than the fluid of the desalinated water maker and it gives an energy boost.
- 18 butane gas bottles (I have too little onboard now). The men have not had coffee for two days now. Would this be the reason why we perform so bad? ;-)

                                                                   Sam Greenfield - Dongfeng

- 330 bags of Crusli (Adventure Food)
- 330 servings of freeze-dried spaghetti bolognese (Each on board get 1.5 serving per meal = 900 calories). Otherwise they will never get to 5500 calories per day.
- 165 servings of mashed potatoes (freeze-dried)
- 165 servings of chicken curry (freeze-dried)
- 6 bottles of chili sauce (Sauce is the only way to make the meals a little edible)
- 6 bottles of tomato ketchup
- 5 kilos of sliced and vacuum-packed Serrano ham
- 5 kilos of coffee
- Sugar blocks (200 pieces total)
- Coffee milk (2 kilo)
- 11 kilo protein Shakes (for muscle recovery)

                                                                     Sam Greenfield - Dongfeng

- Salt and pepper. Definitely no glass (dangerous) and no mill (will become clammy)
- Olive oil (Many men become 'clogged' the sea, this helps a lot.)
- New suggestion of Rokas: teriyaki and soy sauce?
- Tabasco (small bottle)
- Toilet rolls, 22 pieces
- Wet wipes, 11 packets
- 11 Dirt bags. Strong, preferably for garden waste or something.
- Shaving Cream, 1 bottle
- Razor blades
- 9 toothbrushes
- 1 x toothpaste (more than enough: some boys are brushing their teeth once every five days, rancid!)
- 1 x wash brush
- 3 x lighters
Oh yeah, and "last but not least". The highlight of the day: 44 bags Haribo candies.
                                                                   Francisco Vignale - MAPFRE

One of the unique aspects of the VOR is that on the longer legs, after a few days the crews literally get to the breaking point and can not eat enough food to offset the weight they are constantly losing through such relentless exertion.  They end up literally burning their fat like hibernating bears.
                                                                  Stefan Coppers - Team Brunel

For many years, numerous medical experts from around the world have been studying the effects this physical and mental abuse has upon the human body.  So, in addition to being world class ocean sailors, the Volvo crews are heroic lab rats.  And what is learned by closely monitoring each sailor’s health during this year-long ordeal may one day reap beneficial results for the entire human race.
                                                                Stefan Coppers - Team Brunel
                                                                   Stefan Coppers - Team Brunel

But the VOR is ultimately a series of nine brutal races, covering 38,739 nautical miles.
                                                                              Billie Weiss-VOR

And on Leg 7 across the Atlantic Ocean, a relatively short, 2,800-mile sprint in relation to all of the previous legs, the pre-race favorite Team Brunel, skippered by the old man in the sea, Bouwe Beking, took the early lead and never relinquished control, even though the Spanish boat MAPFRE sailed within sight of the Dutch boat for the final week, while the American entry Alvimedica finished a close third.
                                                                        Billie Weiss-VOR

Next Stop – Lisbon, Portugal

                                        VOLVO  LEADER BOARD

Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4 Leg 5 Leg 6 Leg 7 Overall
Abu Dhabi 1 3 2 2 1 2 5 16
Alvimedica 5 4 3 4 3 5 3 27
Brunel 3 1 5 5 4 3 1 22
Dongfeng 2 2 1 3 DNF-8 1 4 22*
MAPFRE 7 4 4 1 2 4 2 27*
SCA 6 6 6 6 5 6 6 43*
Vestas Wind 4 DNF-8 DNS-8 DNS-8 DNS-8 DNS-8 DNS-8 44
* MAPFRE was given a 2-point penalty after Leg 5 and 1 point after Leg 7
Team SCA was given a 2-point penalty after Leg 7
Dongfeng Race Team was given a 2-point penalty after Leg 7

                                                                             Billie Weiss-VOR

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