It has been a while since I got into a class of boat where handling it around the bouys was a complete learning experience. The VOR 70 is all new to me and to all the Pirates. Not often do Olympic medalists, America’s cup winners, past Volvo Ocean Race winners, find them on a boat where they have to learn how to handle the boat from scratch.

Today we trained by sailing windward leward legs on a 3 mile course which is the legnth of the legs for the inport race we will do in 2 weeks time. On this, relitively compressed playing field, Handling these 70 footers, with 5000 square foot spinnakers, runners, canards that go up and down and canting the keel is a real handful for those who know what they are doing. For those of us still trying to fingure out what to do, it is even more of a challenge.

The wind was slow to get started today but finally filled around 13:30. The Spanish boat had given up on the day and went in. We stayed out and were treated to a beautiful day with the wind peaking at 12 knots and generally around 10 knots. It was a seabreeze from 220 and fairly steady and a beautiful sunny day.

We sailed three full laps trying different sets and drops, different tacking

and gybing techniques. To say that we are learning a lot each day out there would be an understatement. I think we are making some good progress but I could see doing this for 3 months and still improving with each new day.

Unfortunately, we can’t even train like this for the next two weeks. Tomorrow we have to measure the boat, Tuesday we are presenting the Pirates of the Caribbean to 500 school children of Vigoand WEdnesday are hosting some media with Disney in Baiona. Wednesday-Sunday we will not be sailing to get the jobs list down to a manageable number. Currently we have 178 itmes on our work list for the boat.

It is all good though; We are a happy team, the food is excellent thanks to Chef Rehana and his able assistant Jo, we are still sleeping in dry beds and we are having fun dealing with the challenge. Doesn’t get much better than that in life!

END PC POTC