This week's America's Cup diary comes from GBR Challenge's mid-bow/sewerman and rigger Will I'Anson
This week’s America’s Cup diary comes from GBR Challenge’s mid-bow/sewerman and rigger Will I’Anson:
The Hauraki Gulf is a spectacular place to sail, and on Monday night we were lucky enough to get a spectacular overview of the racecourse when Peter and Joy Harrison invited the entire team and their partners to their house in Campbell’s Bay on the North Shore for a pleasant dinner before their departure back to the UK.
The last couple of weeks have given us some great sailing. The weather has co-operated somewhat and being at the top end of our wind range has made for some exciting in house racing. Sailing these boats hard and in close and competitive situations is proving to be both exciting and beneficial towards our ultimate goal, which is to learn how to race these boats as fast as we possibly can.
My position on the boat is the mid-bow/sewer. This involves spending a fair bit of time down in the dark hole below getting what seems to be a large percentage of the Hauraki Gulf poured over your head. IACC boats are inherently wet and we have certainly found that out with the high wind conditions this week.
As with the rest of the sailing team we all have our responsibilities ashore. I am responsible for all of the masts, booms and standing rigging. Every day Peter Thomas, Matt Cornwell, and myself go up the mast and carry out a thorough inspection of the tube, spreaders, rods and fittings. Going over the masts after every day is imperative for sourcing any potential problems and keeping on top of the constant maintenance.
After a while you get to know every part of the mast like the back of your hand, and you notice any small changes in your daily checks. After a set number of sailing hours the masts are pulled out of the boats stripped down, checked, reassembled and then put back in. While the rig is on the ground the entire rod ends, fittings, spreaders etc are cleaned off and given a thorough inspection.
As well as the constant maintenance of the rigs in the boats there is the spare rig to finish assembling and over the last month or so Jamie Marina and myself have been spending a lot of time working with the designers and the spar builders, on the completion of the new mast.
Having the two boats out of the water and a fully dressed rig on the ground pretty much takes up all of our space, and you find yourself constantly moving it around to a few surprised looking faces, as people come out of there containers to find a 34-metre carbon tube outside their front door.
Anyway as the week closes to an end it is time to get that hot commodity sleep, ready for a 0600 start in the gym and back into it again tomorrow.