We have now been in port for 36 hours. I know there are a lot of stories, rumors and thoughts going on around the water cooler so I thought I would give you my perspective to add to your daily conversation. A couple of facts first:
1. This is a race on points not time. This is not the Tour de France. This is more similar to the Formula 1 season where over 16 races, Michael Schumacher may not even finish 3 or 4 of the 16 races and yet still win the World Championship. There are 23 “events” in this race ranging in points value from 3.5 to 7. The maximum number of points available to be won is 112.
2. These new Volvo 70’s are high tech machines. They are going to break down. Breaking down is not new to Round the World Racing. We are all learning about what it takes to keep these things together.
3. We are going to return to the race and I feel that we have a good chance to win this race.
Now, how to move forward.
Option 1: Put a bandaid on the boat, sail for three weeks to Cape Town and collect 1.5 points, or possibly a few more points if others breakdown on this leg, arrive 1 day before the inport race, and basically go into leg 2, one of the most difficult legs of the race, beat and not fully prepared.
Option 2: Ship the boat to Cape Town, do the repairs properly, proactively seek out and improve the structural integrity of the boat in areas that have not yet broken, sea trail the boat offshore for 3 days before leg 2, and enter the inport race and leg 2 properly prepared.
We are going for option 2.
As I said in my email of yesterday, I don’t think the breakdowns will be confined to Moviestar, Sunergy, and Pirates. I am not wishing any ill fate on anyone, it is just the nature of these beasts. In fact, I wrote a note today to all boats of the same design…Moviestar, Brasil and Ericsson, describing to them the damage we suffered and inviting them to call us or our designer for more information if they want. I got a couple of nice reply’s during the day from those teams also offering their assitance.
Now, when you have a challenge you find out what your team is made of. I like what I am seeing. First, our team has set up an operation here in Portugal is short order. Secondly, as tired as every one from the shore team is having given everything they had to get the boat ready for November 12th, they all changed their plans to go home and see their families for a week and rode a bus for 6 hours on Sunday night to arrive here at 0200 Mondfay morning. And finally Disney and Pescanova are coming through like champs. Our parnter, Pescanova, has offered to support the cost of the flying the boat to Cape Town, in fact it was CEO Manolo Fernandez’s suggestion. This will gain us 12 days over a shipping option which will be used to get more work done on our job list. Further we will attach other issue that are concerning us so that we can leave for the southern ocean with as much confidence as possible in the boat. For sure this is a luxury and we are greatful for Pescanovas help. I have been in touch with the Disney executives who sit on our board over the past 36 hours and they are 100% behind us, and more resolute than before. Here is an email from one of our Disney team:
Just want you to know the team here is following the events and supporting you from afar. Wish I could be there to lend a hand and help. If there is anything I can do from Ca. (doubtful I know) don’t hesitate to holler. Kimo I wanted to call you a bunch of times Day one, but felt best leave the phones open and let you guys get the job done. Seems all the boats are having their challenges, ours came early and thankfully close to land and the the shore team. You all know better than anyone it is a long journey to the end and this is nothing more than a minor set back. Remember coming from the rear is only going to make this better Pirate lore.
So this is all part of the story. No one tells you how the story is going to unfold when you start. You have to live it in all of its ups and downs….that is the beauty of it and you play your hand as it is delt to you.
Pirates of the Caribbean