What a difference
"We were a man down with Bouwe confined to a bunk and we were taking a pounding. It was the most brutal conditions I have ever experienced," commented Tom.
Back in February 2009, it was a case of survival mode but with impeccable boat handling, true grit and determination, Telefonica Blue made it to China. The Spanish entry was not only intact but also winners of Leg Four of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009.
Right now, Tom is about as far from Qingdao as you can get without being in outer space. The Australian navigator is aboard Karl Kwok's Farr 80, Beau Geste racing in the RORC Caribbean 600. The race starts and finishes in Antigua, after 605 miles of ocean sailing. There are 14 tropical islands on the race track and warm Trade Winds supply some fantastic conditions, both day and night.
Racing in the Caribbean is a far cry from battling a winter gale in the South China Sea," said Tom. "But this is a really tactical race with many twists and turns along the way, it's always interesting and a great test for the boat and all the crew. The scenery is absolutely stunning. We were blast reaching across to Nevis last night under a carpet of stars; real champagne sailing. I think it is a great addition to the racing calender."
Tom is not the only Volvo Ocean Race sailor aboard Karl Kwok's Beau Geste, in all ten of the crew have competed in either the Volvo Ocean Race or the Whitbread Round the World Race.
Volvo Ocean Race: www.volvoocenarace.org