Monday, May 31, 2010

European Extreme Sailing Series, 1st round - Sète, France

Yesterday Laurent and I were invited to the Extreme Sailing Series in Sète. We were invited onboard the crew speedboat of Red Bull Extreme Sailing.
The team had just warmed up and there were 5 races to come as it was day 4 of 4 of the competition. They were sitting in 5th place out of 8 teams. We went out on the support boat and they said we should put on the waterproof pants to stop our knees from being cut up. It was 15min til the days racing started and only then we realised, "We were going to be in the race!". It's crazy to think, but there is a 4 person crew, and each race they must race with a 5th man (weather permitting - if the winds are too strong the crew will race as 4, not to hurt the 5th man). The 5th man doesn't help to sail the boat but is there to distribute their weight around the boat. So I was given orders during the race to crawl from left to right and front to back of the trampoline in the middle of their boat. The picture on the left shows the 5th man in the red life jacket. My favourite part was when the boat lifted up on one side then crashed back down and made a huge splash. It's so amazing to see the control they have and how close the boats come to each other. I was 5th man in race 3 and 4. In race 4 at the first buoy we apparently cut off Groupama and we got a yellow card, had to do a u-turn as a penalty then continue.
My forearms are tired today, and I didn't even pull on the ropes. It's just from holding on!

Check it all out on