Team Tyco show the rest of the VOR fleet the way to go when it comes cycling, swimming, orienteering and kayaking
A large group of Volvo Ocean Race sailors, shore crew and sponsors gathered on Crandon beach to compete in the Suunto Adventure Race at Miami this weekend. Team Tyco emerged victorious, closely followed by Nautor Challenge, with Assa Abloy One claiming third place.
Despite the early start on a scheduled day-off for many of the sailors, an impressive number of people turned up to take part in the race. In teams of three, the competitors had to complete five challenges in a bid to win the stylish prize, a Suunto Observer watch each. The teams tested their skills at cycling, swimming, orienteering, kayaking and ‘mystery games’, with only a short, five-minute break, back in the ‘transition area’ between each course.
The teams were split into five groups, and rotated round the activities. A choice was given for the difficulty of each task – the harder the course chosen, the higher the points scored. As with any professional event, a complex set of rules formed the backbone of the race, such as ‘all team-members must travel together, no more than 10-metres apart’. However, as the saying goes – “rules are made to be broken”, but more of that later!
Round One began smoothly for most except djuice. Their Number One team promptly capsized on the kayak event, having been the first group into the water; and their Second Team were late back to the transition area, thus incurring time penalties.
At the mystery game post the ‘Nobodywantsus.com’ team – Assa Abloy Press Officers Simon Keijzer and Josefine Lemmel, and Nautor Web Manager, Federico Bonadeo – were struggling to untie themselves from the brainteaser ‘Snake Dance’. Two of the competitors, forbidden to speak, were tied together by string. The third team mate’s role was to direct them round each other, and un-loop the string, without undoing any knots, which is a lot harder than it sounds.
Controversy clouded the second round, as both Nautor challenge and Team Spirit received penalties for drifting more than 10 metres apart in the swimming event. Perhaps appropriately, water set the scene for most of the mishaps throughout the morning; most spectacular was ‘Nobodywantsus.com’ and their triple roll in their kayak during the third round, apparently part of a cunning plan to win, which failed to work.
Round Four passed without incident, apart from the temporary loss of illbruck’s scorecard, dropped on the run between the slides and the transition area. As bodies stared to tire during the fifth, and final, round, a few injuries were incurred, mainly sore knees and a few scrapes, though fortunately nothing too serious to hamper performances in the next sailing leg.
Drenched in sweat, the competitors were given the ultimate task – to try and guess the two words that could be made out of the mixed up letters in front of them, whilst downing a beer.
In the baking heat of midday, a jubilant Team Tyco collected their watches: Nick Cress, shore-side personal trainer, Tim Hacket, shore-based boat builder and Jonathan Swain, Helmsman/Trimmer for Tyco. Swain says the competition was stiff.
“It was good fun, and definitely worth getting up at 8am on a day off. It was pretty intense physically, the same sort of grind as the Hobart to Auckland leg when we were continually making sail changes.”
The third event of it’s kind, following competitions in Cape Town and Auckland, the day offered the Volvo Ocean Race sailors a chance to try their luck at a different sport, as well as carry out their fitness training in a fun environment.