Delta Lloyd and Telefonica Black back on the water

It has not been an easy leg 5 for Telefonica Black and Delta Lloyd. Both boats arrived by ship after suffering significant damage on the way to Qingdao during Leg 4. But this week the two sailing teams finally met on the waters of Guanabara Bay to try and make up for lost time.

For Delta Lloyd this has been their chance to test out new crew members, a new mast and several new sails – ahead of the in-port race this weekend.

The Telefonica Black skipper Fernando Echavarri was also itching to get back to business: “We were a little bit rusty so we were really looking forward to going outside and racing a little bit,” he explained. “We practiced with Delta Lloyd for several hours – start procedures and short races around the bay, despite the really tricky and light conditions.”

“In another day or two we will finish with all the ‘to do’ lists and we’ll be out with the full crew who will be sailing with us in the in-port race.”

Delta Lloyd skipper, Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez, added that his team was still on a steep learning curve, but he was pleased with all the changes the team had made over the past couple of months, and was eager to test out the new kit: “New mast, new sails, new crew, new bow…but it’s a good feeling,” he said. “The mast is much stiffer and the rig works well with the sails. Yesterday and the day before we tested some of the new sails and they’re really good. I’m very happy with them.

“The new guys (Wouter Verbraak, Ben Costello, Nick Bice) are really good. They’re real professionals and they improve the team a lot. They make all of us better.”
In extremely light conditions of 4 to 8 knots, the teams sparred with some practice starts and then a couple of short races, with Delta Lloyd coming up short in the informal competition.

“We have to buy the beers today,” Chuny laughed. “But we learned a lot. We did a few starts and two races, but unfortunately we lost 2-0, so we have to buy the drinks. But tomorrow, we’ll try for a re-match”

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