The final countdown to AZAB 2019
With only 2 days to go until the start of the 2019 Azores and Back Ocean Race the final tweaks and preparations are now being made by competitors.
Yesterday, retired Mylor Yacht Harbour Supervisor Chris Darbyshire & his son John’s boat ‘Saphir’ came out of the water at Mylor for her last minute racing scrub and was looking sleek and race ready in the glorious sunshine. Chris said that apart from some last minute tweaks and victualling, John and he were ready to go. They just needed to get the beer and Christmas cake on board (but not too much…). We weren’t sure of which of these they weren’t going to have too much of, and the cake made us wonder just how long they were planning to be gone…
Being located just around the corner from the AZAB start line, Mylor Yacht Harbour offers the ideal base for those last minute race tweaks and a good night’s sleep prior to the race start on Saturday 1st June at 12.00.
As well as Chris and John Darbyshire taking part in the AZAB, another competitor and familiar face to Mylor is Charlene Howard, owner of ‘AJ Wanderlust’, her trusty Jeanneau 45 yacht which we have worked on previously in preparation for another ocean race. Charlene is an experienced competitive offshore sailor who has several races under her belt including the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, so we asked her if she had any words of wisdom to share from her experiences when preparing for an offshore race:
What would you say your top 5 race prep priorities are for offshore racing?
1) Plan for and control everything you can, so there is “cushion” available for when the unexpected happens. And it will happen.
2) A large, huge, significant part of any race is done long before the start, it is being sure that boat and crew are ready and prepped. Short cuts manifest themselves at the worst time. The devil lies in the details. Seas and oceans can be unforgiving environments.
3) Get to the start line, because you cannot get to the finish line without getting to the start line. And then preserve the boat and take care of her during the race.
4) Have a race partner with similar attitude and mentality, but ideally different technical and sailing strengths and weaknesses.
5) Attitude determines whether your offshore race is an ordeal or an adventure. Try to see the humour in everything.
If you could give one piece of advice to those taking part in races what would it be?
Never give up. Do not let the fact that at this moment you may be cold, tired, wet/frozen, miserable or whatever dictate a choice you will forever have to live with. Persevere. As long as the voyage is safe, the ship is seaworthy and no one requires medical attention beyond what can be provided on board, keep going. Adventures like this are not always meant to be comfortable, but they are meant to be challenging. Break the race into “manageable chunks” in your mind if necessary, whatever it takes to get you to the finish line.
Good advice from Charlene, not only on pre-race preparations for the boat but also the mindset needed for offshore racing.
As local partner sponsors of the race and having our friends Chris, John and Charlene taking part, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the race. You can follow AZAB HERE>
Good luck to all the competitors!
Your plans after AZAB 2019?
Mylor Yacht Harbour offers the ideal base for vessels and yachtsmen not only before, but particularly after a race, so if you or your vessel need some TLC after the epic voyage, we have just the right services to help with this.
You can leave your vessel with us ashore or afloat after the race until you’re ready to pick her up and take her home. We have visitor berthing and swinging mooring options available or you can have her lifted out and stored ashore on the dry for as long as you need to – she’ll be in safe hands.
If your trusty vessel has taken a bit of a battering during the AZAB and could do with a little more than just TLC, Mylor’s Marine Team Services are on hand to help with repair work of all types including engineering, electrical, GRP & hull repairs, joinery & refits, decking & shipwright work, painting & varnishing.
Stay for a while. . .
Alternatively, if you fancy cruising around the Carrick Roads before heading home (let’s face it why wouldn’t you?) then the sailing waters in and around Falmouth and the Helford are some of the most beautiful cruising waters in the UK. Our peaceful and secluded location, extensive shore side facilities and helpful staff allow you the time, space and much needed peace and quiet for you and your vessel to recoup. TAKE A LOOK AROUND>
Self-catering apartments and cottages on site – Mylor Harbourside Holidays
A hot shower, a comfy bed and a nice meal might be more what you had in mind, so if this is your preference after the race, we have 8 self-catering properties based in the heart of Mylor Harbour just a stone’s throw from the marina and the boat yard. As a visiting vessel in the marina you can also receive a discount on your stay!