Harken Tech Team in Auckland for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race
It was a long leg from Sanya to Auckland of around 5,260 nm, but after that distance there was only eight minutes separating the first three boats; proving that the one-design really does work! We have also had four legs and four different leg winners so far. Mapfre took line honours in Auckland, completing the leg in twenty days two hours and thirty one minutes with ADOR four minutes behind them and DFRT four minutes behind ADOR! That's four legs, four winners. Some 5,264 nm and just eight minutes between the front three, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng Race Team scooping silver and bronze.
Auckland was set to be the biggest challenge yet for our service team. We were scheduled for a full service including all winches, gearboxes, and pedestals. The last time a service of this level was completed was in Alicante before the race started. This was designed to equal all the boats out before the start of the race as they all had varying amounts of wear and use due to the deferent miles covered in training. Luckily, as mentioned previously, we managed to service the pedestals in Sanya to try and reduce the work load in Auckland. This move really paid off! We had six days to service all six boats with the boats being lifted back in on the 8th. The service team was split into three work groups and allocated their boats. This is decided in both the order of finishing as well as what other work is being undertaken by the team during the stopover. For example a number of the teams decided to paint decks during this stop which makes it very difficult to get onboard! Because of this, we had to remove winches from four of the six boats in the first day so we would not be held up during the week. Each boat took around three days to complete the full service with all six boats being signed off the morning of the 8th. Considering the conditions seen during leg four, there was very little damage to report and all teams were very happy with how the equipment had performed! The teams now have the 6,700 nm leg through the Southern Ocean to Itajai, Brazil. This is famed to be the hardest leg in the race with the boats heading south around Cape Horn. Good luck to everyone and we will see you in Brazil.
- Mark Gardner: Volvo Ocean Race Project Manager