[Source: Team SCA] Today was another milestone for Team SCA, after nearly two weeks of preparation the crew un-tied the lines and headed off for the delivery trip from the UK to their team base in Lanzarote. This will be first offshore trip the new Volvo Ocean 65 has taken, and they look set to take on a range of conditions over the course of the 1500 nm delivery trip south.
Speaking dockside this morning SCA crew member Carolijn Brouwer said,
“I think we feel a little bit of everything this time around, usually when you go off on a delivery it’s quite relaxed but the big change this time is that we’re on our new boat and it hasn’t done many miles yet, our previous boat had done 70,000 miles all together, where as this one might only have done 300nm over the last week so that’s the big change for us. We fully trust in the product we’ve received but there is a first time for everything and this is the first time for this boat, so we’re looking forward to getting offshore and working through all the systems as we learn about the new Volvo Ocean 65″
The delivery trip will see the crew work through a range of things from practicing watches, manoeuvres and sail changes, through to working on weather routing and learning how this new class of boat sails in a variety of conditions. The crew will be running a watch system, four hours on and four hours off, but it will be a rolling system. Each crew member will have a watch change every two hours so everyone basically has a watch buddy, someone they go on and off watch with every four hours. Every two hours there is a new set of crew on deck, it is system the crew has tried in the past and has worked well and a key part of life offshore that the team needs to refine for the race itself.
SCA Coach Brad Jackson talked about the forecast ahead,
“It looks like we will have a good trip for this delivery, it’s looking pretty good for the first half anyway. Very fast down to Ushant and onto Finisterre, then after that it becomes a little more uncertain and potentially a bit more tricky down the coast of Portugal. In terms of how we are going to sail the boat, it’s a little bit of a hard one to say, if the boat feels like it’s ok then we’ll try and get some good data off the boat and sail it properly as if we were in race mode”
For the crew, there is a mixture of excitement and nerves as they headed off today. For Annie Lush it was a case of excitement and anticipation,
“It feels like a bit of time since we’ve really sailed and trained properly, we’ve been out sailing preparing the 65, but we haven’t been able to really send it so it will be nice to get offshore and learn about this boat. It’s not quite the same as day sailing in the Solent. I was thinking about it this morning, and it will be quite busy, trying to work things out and sail the boat hard as if we were racing, because obviously we’re training and also logging what we’re learning as we go. I think it’s going to be busy time for everyone but good fun, we can’t wait to get out there”