BoDream News/ It’s Regatta Time!

Well, here we go! Class 40 Worlds about to begin!

The boat’s as ready as she has ever been. We’ve got some new sails, and even a special new one – a light-wind Code Zero, at the encouragement of Matt Scharl and the guys at North Sails! We’ve got a great crew with a great attitude, so we’re really looking forward to some mighty good fun racing against some of the best sailors in the Class 40 world!

Today was another one filled with last minute scrambles, as we worked our way through the “scrutinizer’s” list and the sail declarations. (All sails must be approved for the Class.) We worked right up to the end of the day when the Skipper’s meeting was held – and of course, it was all in French, so we were a bit unmoored – but thanks to some English-speaking French folks and our old’ buddy, Google Translate, we got the basic info we need to be competitive out there.

 Dave wondering what they’re talking about.

I’m off for a quick night of sleep here, and at the same time I’m thinking how different this event is from our last few races. This one is a real “Regatta” – a multi-day series of races all pretty formally structured. There will likely be 10 races over 4 days, and it is the cumulation of all the scores that will determine the winners. This is very different than say the Normandy Channel Race, where there is one start and one finish and the winner takes all. In this regatta, you can conceivably win the entire event without winning a single individual race; consistency is what counts!

The other interesting difference is that it’s late at night; I’m tired and looking towards a 6:45 am start.. not unlike the other events.. but this one is different, in that we’ll be off the water by 6 in the evening, and so able to enjoy some fine French cuisine and a good night’s sleep before the next day’s races. This is in sharp contrast to the long distance races where meals are freeze-dried filler and rest is taken in an alternating combination of catnaps and Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses!!

So, we plan on keeping you as informed as possible. Hard to say how well our communications will function until we’re on the water – but we’ll do our best to keep the BD website, as well as Facebook and Twitter updated. Hopefully, there will be lots of fun news to share over the next four days.

And thanks so much for rooting for us, and for following along with our racing!

– Dave and the whole Bodacious Dream Crew

BoDream News/ Chasing Sails & Ramping up to Worlds

Hello Again!! Still in France!!

We’re getting ramped up here in La Rochelle for the Mondial Class 40 World Championships that begin this Wednesday. The crew arrived yesterday and Richard “Bicky” Bicknell has been here for a couple of days helping to organize the program for us. He, along with Bill Dalbreth have pulled this team together. Bicky has the North Sails Loft in Auckland, NZ and has, with the help of his team, made the sails for Bodacious Dream. Also on the team, we have Phillip Airey, Brett Elliot, Jerome DeVos and Oliver Scott-Mackie. Six from New Zealand, one from Holland and one American – an international team for sure!!

As could be expected, shipping hassles have plagued us once again. The shipper wanted 505 euros to make the last two hour trip from Bordeaux to La Rochelle with our battens! But thanks to years of integrating creative hauling techniques into my repertoire, I was able to skirt that hurdle. Using ingenuity and some “outside-the-boat” thinking, I lashed the bundle to the top of my small rental car and drove them back to La Rochelle. This slight diversion in Bordeaux was preceded by a few tours of some lovely chateaus and vineyards, so the time was well-spent. It’s a real treat wandering through chateaus that are four and five hundred years old and still producing wines from their estate grounds.

Alternative Shipping Techniques

Our shipping hassles were not over just yet. Last Monday was spent driving from Nantes south to Niort looking for the shipping company and our sails. They were to have arrived a week ago Friday in La Rochelle, but for some reason hadn’t yet shown up. What better person to trust to get them here but myself! The hour and a half drive to Nantes didn’t sound like a big deal.. only once I arrived, there was no terminal and I spent the next few hours finding an outlet for the shipping company, while the shippers, Peters and May tried to locate it as well. Long about noon, I found out the sails were in Niort, (when spoken in French, it sounds exactly like “New York” – so you can imagine the spike in my heart rate at initially hearing that!) Niort I soon learned, was another hour and a half back towards La Rochelle. After their lunch break ended though, we found out the sails were actually onboard a truck already in La Rochelle and scheduled to be delivered soon. A long day of chasing, but eventually the sails did arrive and we were able to mount them and head out of the harbor at 5:30 pm for a short hour look at them.

Tomorrow will be the typical scrutinizing program, and we’re hoping everything goes well. We got in a short practice on Sunday afternoon and another today. The challenge is that we only have two and a half hours of access to the La Rochelle harbor with the dramatic tide ranges I mentioned previously. Just enough time to set the main, do some testing of sails, maybe a mark rounding or two and head back in. Much like many regattas, we’ll start the first races strong, though not well-practiced and hope to get better over the course of the regatta!

We’re expecting some exciting racing from these top crews and boats that have gathered here. Mare, Comiris, Phoenix, Picoty and others are all here and we’re all looking forward to a great season finale of a regatta. Right now, the weather for the first day looks pretty windy with lighter winds predicted for the remainder of the week.

I’ll be trying to text updates from the boat, and get them up on Facebook as soon as possible, so you can follow our progress. If you aren’t yet on Facebook or Twitter, I guess now might be a good time to sign up.. don’t feel bad.. I’m new to them too!

You can also go to the site for the Mondial World Championships, but it’s in French and doesn’t have a translate button (unless you use the Chrome browser, I am told – but even then, the site content looks to be pretty minimal). They may also provide news on the Class 40 Web site – and we’ll let you know if they do.

Otherwise, take care and more very soon!

– Dave