Tag Heuer Replica Watches Volvo Ocean Race Update: Life On Board
The final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is almost here… after almost 9 months sailing around the world, team Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is currently resting in the French port at Lorient. Having completed the 8th leg of the race from Lisbon in just over 5 days, the almost 2000 mile route provided challenging conditions for the Azzam and her crew. Skipper Ian Walker relayed his surprise that more boats didn’t break in the rough seas: “We’re coming off waves so hard that bunks are breaking down below from the weight of the people landing in them. So you can imagine the loads on everything else.”
Footage of the storms encountered during Leg 8
With these sorts of conditions in mind, we wanted to share some insight into what life is like on board the Azzam, and what the crew endures over the course of the race. You read about the design and build process of Azzam, and how crew work, rest, and sleep areas are taken into account – measures Walker elaborates on: “…when we are trying to sleep it is a tough time so we have to strap ourselves into our bunks so we don’t get flicked out.”
Conditions at sea faced by the Azzam and crew
Beyond the logistics of how to get sleep, or change clothes on a rocking boat there are the ever changing weather conditions that affect the daily activities of the crew. Crewmember Adil Khalid relates “…your eyes are sore from the blasting of the salt water, you are soaking wet and everyone is bruised and banged around from the constant slamming of the boat.” From his crewmate Anthony Nossiter, the effect of being at sea is that “Everything is wet or damp, and then we change a sail, we bring a whole new world of wet into the boat”.
The crew enjoying a relatively calm dusk at sea
The length of the VOR brings its own set of on-board challenges – “In a shorter Fastnet or Hobart yacht race, if you break something it’s all over. Here, it’s different – so your approach has to be different. You have to take the long view, keep working away, take the knocks and the gains…” (Ian Walker). When describing what it is like manning a boat with a small crew, Nossiter further explained: “…onboard Azzam it is all day and all night for the nine months of the race, plus the workload on theses boats is huge – huge.”
Some of the tough work faced every day during VOR
Despite an ever-changing climate and exhausting amount of work on board, Walker shares: “I have seen this team taken to the extreme, and what I saw was courage, spirit, pride and above all determination.” The Volvo Ocean Race involves “crossing oceans that break supertankers”, so the risk is high. But as Walker says he and Azzam’s crew are all aware of one thing in the challenge: there are “Big risks and huge rewards”.
The Azzam sailing into port at the finish of Leg 8
We at IWC can all relate to the result of putting spirit, pride, and determination into your work – we commend Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing for completing the second to last leg of this race, and look forward to Leg 9 and the spring to Galway.