Too little... Too much. Walvis goes Industrial strength. (Video)
Fri, 19 Oct 12 21:31
When we woke this morning it was obvious that Walvis was going to live up to its forecast. The sky was clear and the wind was already blowing from the SW early in the morning. Usually there is no wind that early and if there is any, it's from the North.
We had a couple of jobs that needed doing which involved composite work. You have to allow curing time for this and even when we accelerate the process with heat guns and fast resins... it's not instantaneous. Even with an over-the-top forecast I was keen to try and get a run in. I'm itching to see if we have the right solutions to get to 60 knots. Whilst Ben was mixing resins, Alex and I were calibrating strain gauges and resetting main foil pitch and inclination settings. We were climbing into MUSTO drysuits as Ben bolted the last necessary bits to the boat. The wind was building knot by knot and also swinging slowly to the desired SSW direction for Speed-spot. We were over there before 1 p.m. after going the long way around due to the low-tide shallows. The flamingoes mark out where all the low points are. It's great to have them back for many reasons. We didn't hang around at the timing hut. Helena was dropped off with the cameras and wind logging equipment and we pushed on up to the top of the course with VSR2 in tow. It was strong. Looking to the distant dunes upwind you could see the haze from all the blowing sand. We called Helena for a wind reading and she was getting 30 knots. I told the boys that 32 was my cut-off but to be honest, over 30 I was looking for an excuse to can it. Just as we released all the control lines to raise the wing, I got Alex to radio Helena one more time. Sure enough we had our 32 knots. It was pumping and we were only expecting it to go one way.
I canned the day. This time it was a 'no brainer'. I don't feel that we are ready to take on top-end conditions. VSR2 should only need 25-28 knot conditions to do her thing. She can sail in stronger conditions but really should only do so once all the systems are dialled in and the team are fully up to speed with handling her. Little problems get magnified into big ones on these days. At this stage we simply aren't under pressure to make bold calls. Tomorrow will be a good day so we can fight more on our terms then.
The day built had built. It was blowing hard by the time we got back to the container. Even though we didn't sail, I felt some sense of relief to put VSR2 away in one piece. I was happy with my call not to sail. I have become used to making bold calls in strong conditions. It's actually harder now to make the call not to sail as I'm my own biggest critic. The team spent the afternoon doing the odd little jobs that could be done in the shaking container. Dusty sand coated everything and a Hobie 16 tumbled onto a parked BMW in the carpark. Good old Walvis eh? So, as it stands, we are in good shape to fight tomorrow... and we are keen to do so. We have had one light day followed by one OTT day... now we need one just right. Patience is our game. Here's a great video by Ben 2 (Holder) which covers the last two days. Nice work Ben. Enjoy...