Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is Great to Be in La Rochelle

Location: La Rochelle, France

It is great to be here in La Rochelle, where the VELUX 5 OCEANS race will start on October 17th. That final stretch across the Atlantic was frustratingly slow, however light winds in the Bay of Biscay are always welcome. It was refreshing to dock in the beautiful, historic city of La Rochelle and step off Le Pingouin to old but familiar faces and the tackle that came from Tate and Wyatt. A huge thanks goes to my small but able crew who not only endured the challenges of sailing across the Atlantic despite tropical storms and hurricanes, but also readily accepted the small living space, limited sleep, constant review of systems, water rations, and such. Thanks to JC Caso, Brendan Fitzgerald, and Tim Eble! 

We have a long list of work to take care of on the boat, but nothing too daunting for the time we have before the start. All would be better if we had a Title Sponsor, but the team is working hard and getting the job done. Kudos need to go out to the Velux and race organizers Clipper Ventures for the professional team they have assembled and the loads of support and incentives they are providing to qualified entries in the race.

It is also great to see Derek Hatfield and his Active House race boat arrive in La Rochelle. Other competitors are expected to arrive this week and it will be nice to see the fleet taking shape as we near the two week countdown to the start this Sunday.

Thanks for checking in. Enjoy the photos below from the arrival in La Rochelle.


My wife Meaghan and the kids caught their first sight of Le Pingouin from the lift bridge

I steer the Le Pingouin into the basin through the lock

Our children Tate and Wyatt tackle me on the dock

I am joined on deck by (L to R) Brendan Fitzgerald, JC Caso and Tim Eble
The crew is ready for a cold beer and a home cooked meal