Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bouwe on China Rio & USA

Bouwe Bekking may be enjoying the fact that his TELEFONICA BLUE won the in-port race this past weekend in Rio de Janeiro. However his mind is already on the next big thing: next Saturday, April 11, the Dutch skipper and his ten crewmates on board the Spanish blue VO70 will leave the carioca city for Boston, USA on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09.

When talking to Bouwe about the monster leg from Qingdao, China, to Rio de Janeiro, he resumes the 12,300 nautical mile journey in just five words: "It was a tough one." Straight after crossing the finish line in Guanabara Bay, Bekking highlighted the situation of his team and his wishes for the next leg: "We are 13 points behind Ericsson 4, so a good in-port race and a good leg are a must." One week later, the first part of that wish came true with a win in the in-port race and the corresponding addition of 4 points to TELEFONICA BLUE's overall score.

Recalling Leg 5, Bouwe says he didn't miss anything in this Southern Ocean crossing when comparing it to his previous experiences. Now on his sixth Round the World Race, one can safely assume that he knows what he is talking about. "This was my seventh Horn rounding, and I can tell you, every one has been different. This one I really liked as we were pretty relaxed- we had a very funny moment when I allowed David (Vera) and Mike (Pammeter) to run around in their speedo's." How's that for a relaxed rounding?

But ask Bouwe about the entire leg, and the expression on his face is slightly different: "Should I be asked about repeating this leg for the next VOR, I would generally suggest to not make any leg longer than 7,500 nautical miles, and to not go to Qingdao in particular. This has by far been the longest leg of my career; before this, my longest leg was from Perth (Australia) to Punta del Este (Chile) in 7,558 nautical miles. Leg 5 this year was a new record for me." Read more...