With a race that spans more than 45,000 nautical miles, there are many opportunities for snatching victory or having victory snatched from you and it comes down to consistency. Consistency when the wind is up and the boats are hitting blazing speeds, and consistency when the last puff fades within spitting distance of the finish line and steely nerves come into play. Those teams that are able to play at peak performance no matter what hand they are dealt are the ones that come out on top and there was no better example of this than the incredible performance turned in by the Dutch entry Team Brunel. Skipper Bouwe Bekking and his crew should be congratulated for another leg win after a brutal sail across the North Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island to Cardiff in Wales.
|Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking
Mid-leg Team Brunel was locked in a piggyback battle with fellow Dutch entry AkzoNobel as each sought to set a new 24-hour distance record. One team would set a new record only to have it answered by the other with a more impressive performance, and they swapped being the fastest boat numerous times until Bekking and company finally conceded the record to AkzoNobel who covered a mighty 601.63 nautical miles in one 24-hour period. Conceding is not something Bouwwe likes to do, but his view is of the big picture. A record is nice for sure, but a leg win would be even better.
Both Dutch teams approached the British coast locked in a head-to-head battle with a couple hundred meters separating them. The wind died to under ten knots; it was a time for light fingers on helm and experience in the afterguard. The chief helmsman on Team Brunel is the winning Americas Cup skipper Peter Burling and he surely had a lot to do with Team Brunel’s ultimate victory, but perhaps it was the joint experience of Bekking and navigator Andrew Cape, two of the most seasoned offshore ocean sailors ever, that won the day. A light touch on the helm, experience in the strategy department and a crack crew all wearing their Dubarry Crosshaven boots engineered and crafted to give them the edge no matter the conditions. www.dubarry.com
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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog