Fresh from coming third in the BVI's at the Loro Piana race in YCCS Virgin Gorda, Ohana took on her first Bucket. The 49.7m Fitzroy was delivered in 2012 and has spent the last year travelling from New Zealand to the Caribbean. I raced on board on day one of the Bucket and caught up with the captain Mattia Dzaja afterwards.
How did day one go?
There were a couple issues at the beginning with the rudder not working but then it was good and was just the first ten minutes really. Then it was no stress. It is always tense at the beginning of races whether everything is ready to go or if there are issues. It is maybe more tense if there are issues, but you just have to be ready with a plan B. It was also extra crowded at the beginning, which meant there was no space for manoeuvring. I don't know how there were no accidents. At the beginning everyone was waiting with sails up, looking around trying to judge what every other yacht was going to do; trying to keep steady; trying to think ahead. Very challenging. The safety officers worked hard. When you are a 50m yacht, this kind of crowdedness is difficult. Even if you can manoeuvre quickly you don't know what the others will do.
Has the owner been pleased with how things have gone?
Everyday the owner and I take some time to review and debrief, looking through all the graphs, seeing what went wrong. He has been pleased with how we did. There wasn't much we could do better. We didn't make many mistakes. Day two was very challenging - a few yachts broke their spinnaker, Seahawk even hit the rocks, so everyone had their challenges this week but the owner has been happy with how Ohana did.
We still have a provisional certificate so we know that they are keeping Ohana down. They will have observed us, seen how she sails and then will give us the final rating certificate, hopefully a better one. But to be honest, if you have seen how crowded the finish lines, and how close it all is...literally seconds between each finish, I think the ratings for the most part have been fairly well calculated. There is always room to make them better, but no one was really out.
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