Update Dick Koopmans #6

Golden Globe Race


Any idea how you can become Marks team manager? When Mark took part in the Talisker Whisky Atlant
ic rowing Challenge and was not able to be at the first Golden Globe Race meeting in Les Sables d’Olonne he asked me if I could go in his place. I read the notice of race and concluded that only skippers and team managers could be at the meeting. So that’s how my career started.

I do not use Facebook and this can be a problem with GGR, since it is the official communication medium. This means that if there are any questions I'll be notified by another team member. It also means that an answer can take some days. But I'll respond on e-mails much faster.

Communication with Mark has improved a little during the last week. We now can send short-spoken textmessages to him. This is sent by radio around 1500 UTC towards Mark. If conditions permit, Mark can talk back. This will be recorded and sent to us. It's a good way. Both sides can decide when and what to say. You can think about it before it is sent. Personally I do like this much better than Facebook. It's in the true spirit of the race. Remember the text I wrote on the inside coach roof for Mark, "think before doing it" That's the most important thing for ocean sailing.

Mark has passed Cape of Good Hope. There was a lot of wind and sea conditions were difficult. But the Ophen Maverick is in good condition and Mark enjoys the sealife. For the next week conditions looks OK. No big winds or sea state. Till Monday there might be light air. Later in the week a fresh breeze will show good speeds.

One of Marks competitors, Are Wiig has lost his mast. Mark and I really regret it. Are Wiig is a nice man, a good seaman and he did a very good race. Sometimes you can avoid losing a mast but I think in this case it was just bad luck. It can happen on all boats. You can make the mast stronger and so make it safer but if you make the mast heavier, the stability decrees and the mast will hit the water sooner.

If Mark loses his mast he has a connection on board to use the full length of two spinnaker poles. WIth this construction he can use a three times reefed mainsail and the inner jib. The safety to sail so is limited to +- 20 knots of wind. It means he can sail to Hobart with a speed of around 4 knots. Let’s hope he doesn't need it and has a safe and fast trip.