Leaving the sad tale of "Captain" Heather to one side, where I am increasingly convinced it belongs, lets take a look at Hugo Boss's current situation.
They have just completed a 48 hour 'pit-stop' in Wellington, New Zealand. There was a problem with the twin rudders, which is described in their report below. It is now fixed and they are well on their way again, still holding second place!
Thomson and Cape depart Wellington after 48 hour pit-stop
Alex and Capey are now back at sea and racing again, after repairing the damaged rudders on HUGO BOSS. The pair rejoined the Barcelona World Race off Wellington, New Zealand, at 05.00 GMT on 29 December, resuming second place behind leader Paprec Virbac 2. With a 708 mile deficit on the leader and their confidence now restored in the boat, Alex and Capey will be pushing hard in a bid to close the gap.
Under race regulations HUGO BOSS was obliged to remain in port for a minimum of 48 hours as a penalty for seeking outside assistance from its shore team. Alex commented: “The pit-stop has allowed us to repair the rudders and deal with a number of other small problems that had cropped up on the boat after sailing halfway around the world. The rudder blades had been moving within their cassettes causing the cassettes themselves to split. The excess movement in the system also caused the bearings on the transom at the back of the boat to wear out.” In addition, the rudders on HUGO BOSS are ‘kick-up’ rudders, designed to hinge upwards if they hit a submerged object. However, they had a tendency to kick up of their own accord, leaving the boat without steerage and causing the boat to crash gybe, which could result in a dismasting had HUGO BOSS continued sailing.
“My team has done a great job here in Wellington, and Capey and I have managed to get some rest and some fresh food inside us... We now have full confidence in the boat and can rejoin the race at 100%, and take on the task of catching Paprec-Virbac 2. I am chuffed to bits with the performance of HUGO BOSS and amazed that we have got to this stage of the race as competitive as we have been with such a new boat.”
Once through the Cook Strait, HUGO BOSS will head south-east, taking on a second treacherous Southern Ocean leg and rounding the infamous Cape Horn. She will then head north up the Atlantic to the finish in Barcelona, where the fleet is expected to arrive in February 2008.
I wonder if they took advantage of their time on land to grab a haircut or any other luxury? I don't even know if that is allowed under the rules but I would be bloody tempted!
I have been wondering what I would put at the top of my list , after repairing the boat of course! Haircut, big juicy steak, wash the sleeping bag!
Go for it guys you are doing great and roll on Barcelona in February, that's going to be some party!