Cautious Confidence - VOR Iberdrola In-Port Race

10:27 AM 0 Comments

Yesterday was the opening in port race of the Volvo Ocean race 2011/2012. What looked like a breezy and rainy race day cleared into a relatively soft and partly cloudy day come start time.

Our group on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing absolutely nailed the start mid line. The team was able to hold their lead even though the wind became quite patchy and difficult to navigate near the top of the beat.

What was a narrow lead at the top stretched slightly into a better margin at the bottom of the run. A good change into a masthead 0 for the leg 3 reach gave our boys a bit of a clean exit relative to some of the other teams who had different ideas about their sail call, and were in closer proximity to other boats.

By the top mark of leg three our team had stretched to a near 5 minute lead. The reach back to the finish line saw them pile on the margin to end with a near 14 minute margin of victory.

Although the conditions for the race were certainly patchy, I think you can start to see the cream rising to the top here after several practice races and one real one. Our guys are quietly optimistic and certainly feel good about their preparation and position in the overall race as they head into the “real” start on Saturday.

Yesterday’s inport race win obviously came with some emotion for me. Winning the first one feels fantastic for our whole team after all the hard hours we’ve all put in. Certainly there is a long way to go before feeling completely justified in celebration, but yesterday felt good. Really good. Our team home in Annapolis at FYD deserves to feel good. They’ve put in an enormous effort and deserve to feel very proud. The product of that hard work is innovative and special.

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on that hard work and to thank the whole team. Alon, Bobbi, Britt, Bruce, Bryan, Chris, Emerson, Jennifer, Jim, Keith, Luke, and Russ thank you so much for the incredible work ethic and willingness to make this happen. We wouldn’t be here today if we weren’t such a great team. Take a moment to enjoy this feeling.

Patrick Shaughnessy