ABN AMRO 2 takes second place and scores a dream result for the two boat team
Six and a half hours after ABN AMRO 1 crossed the finish line their team mates followed suit at 21:56 local (19:56 GMT) to cross the line in second place. Dubbed the ‘kids’, Sebastien Josse’s team started the race by nursing their boat through the wild conditions. A day later they realised they were at the head of the pack yet continued to tread carefully with their supercharged beast of a boat. Their softly-softly strategy paid off.
“We have had an amazing leg and we didn’t expect to finish second. We thought we might be able to do something, but I am really pleased with this result,” said skipper Sebastien Josse. “We sailed really well. We broke one thing but that was not the fault of the crew. We never pushed the boat and the crew never pushed me to sail her any faster, or push for another 5 knots of boat speed. We just sailed fast and safe.”
Fast and safe for them, but to listen to ABN2′ bowman Gerd Jan Poortman’s description of life aboard a VOR70 reveals a different dimension.
“The force of the water on these boats is amazing. I’m the bowman but I was also trimming the mainsail in the middle of the boat and you have to tie yourself down to the boat. Even then I was knocked back into the wheel, as were several of the other guys,” he said.
“If you need to do something on the front of the boat you have to stop the boat. I was fully tied on, but when the waves hit me my feet get taken away and crushed against the stanchions. There’s going to be a lot of injuries like that.
“That’s the dangerous part, but the amazing part is when you look at that meter. We started making a train noise every time we hit 25 knots, but after a while we got tired of it so we raised the level to 27 and we even got tired of that, so we moved it to 30!”