Simon Fisher, navigator aboard ABN AMRO 2, with the latest from the VOR


Having said that is was “good to be out here racing again”, last night was
definitely one of the more unpleasant nights we have had in the VO70. 25
knots and a very short sharp chop caused by lots of current made going
upwind pretty bloody awful! For most people the net result was dinner
returning the wrong way – the constant pounding causing most people’s
stomachs to be set on spin cycle. Sleeping was also not a lot of fun not
least because it was near impossible to do so. Every other wave caused
you to be tossed in the air like a pancake and the camping matresses we
use to sleep on were always trying to slide off the bunk one way or
another. This meant the only way to sleep was to hold on a tightly as you
could to the bunk meaning you couldn’t actually sleep because you were
holding on so hard!

Luckily though we have escaped relatively unscathed from that whole
ordeal, as has our boat. After hearing the devastating news that Ericsson
and Brasil 1 were likely to be headed back to South Africa our boat
captain Bicey (Nick Bice) wasted no time checking the boat from bow to
stern for signs of damage… so far so good. It came as sad news to us
all that two of the fleet were experiencing problems again but left us
thanking our lucky stars that we had made the decision to take the foot
off the gas just a bit in the hope that it would be a bit kinder to our

With all the unpleasant upwind sailing behind us the crew of ABN AMRO TWO
is now fully refuelled after last night’s antics and laughing and joking
once more. Conditions are now a lot lighter, although very shifty
requiring plenty of concentration. Things will no doubt get trickier as
we near the centre of this ridge of high pressure which currently blocks
our route to the big westerlies of the Southern Ocean.

However, we are now all really looking forward to a bit of exciting
downwind sailing – having entered into the Southern Ocean crossing the
parallel of 40 south we’re keen for the conditions we signed up for when we
entered this race!

Cheers for now,

Si Fi (Simon Fisher) – navigator