Volvo Ocean Race: The Other Extreme

Published on December 3rd, 2014

(December 3, 2014; Day 15) – With the lead trio in the Volvo Ocean Race heading due north, light winds continue to slow their progress. It has been another day of patience and perspiration, with Corinna Halloran reporting on the later from onboard Team SCA…

High heat and no wind is not only a test for one’s sanity but also for one’s body.

“Everyone thinks ‘Life at the Extreme’ means holding on as big waves pounding us, but there’s another side to it. The other half the time you’re dealing with boiling heat, avoiding sun stroke, dehydration, and third degree sunburns,” Libby Greenhalgh said.

During the day, Carolijn Brouwer exposed her upper back for 15 minutes and now has a pretty harsh sunburn. Sam has it worse after she accidentally had a piece of her back exposed whilst driving. A sliver of her back looks like a hot pan was touched her skin.

“You’re constantly shuffling around the front of the boat to remain in the shade,” Stacey said. Everyone is wearing thick layers of sunscreen and hats to protect and beat the sun.

We also are caught between the fragile line of dehydration and over hydration – both of which are equally as dangerous. Most people are aware of what it feels like to be dehydrated – headache and your body feels like it shuts down.

Over hydration is a whole other set of problems, and you don’t even know when you’re over hydrated. “When you’re over hydrated, your body cannot absorb the nutrients of food. That’s why it’s important to add electrolytes to your water – about 1 every 3 water bottles is best,” Dee Caffari explained.

“It’s also more beneficial to sip water rather than gulp water quickly. Gulping water, the water just rushes through your body. Sipping gives your body a chance to absorb the water,” Dee said.

Sleeping is also a bit of a challenge in the heat where your skin feels like it is melting off. In no wind, it’s important to head to the bow of the boat for weight, but you can find yourself caught in a carbon heat box if someone shuts the hatch on you.

So, despite the sunshine and no wind, it’s pretty ‘extreme’ out here as you attempt to stay healthy in these extreme conditions. Nonetheless, it is vital to stay at 100% as you need your body to be a machine to help get the boat through the no wind conditions.

Team Vestas Wind: The crew finally made it back to civilisation today, and are beginning to tell of their amazing escape from a collision with an Indian Ocean reef which grounded their boat. CLICK HERE

Leg 2 Position Report (as of Dec. 4, 00:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 2121.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 5.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5.0 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 111.9 nm DTL
5. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 112.9 nm DTL
6. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 137.6 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing

Race websiteTrackingWatch logVideos

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series. The second offshore leg from Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE is 6,125 nm, started Nov. 19 with an ETA of Dec. 9-16.

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