The Essential BA Stopover Described
2004/2005 Global Challenge
The yachts in the Global Challenge are mostly deserted now, enabling the shore crew to find their feet and catch up with vital organization, maintenance and repair work, prior to the first Southern Ocean leg.
Greig TAYLOR, a 27-year-old Chartered Accountant from London and a CV aboard SAIC La Jolla gave us a round-up of life in BA.
"One week into the BA stopover and things have gone very quiet for the teams. Quite a lot of the essential maintenance and repairs have been done, with only a couple of sails still to have minor touch ups to them. We are very proud of how well we looked after SAIC La Jolla over the last 6,000 miles and aim to replicate this over the next 24,000 miles.
"We are confident that she will repay us! Whilst writing this at the back of the boat, it looks like a ghost ship around me. All of the bunks have gone, all personal kit removed, and non-essential items are now in our container. She also does not smell at all, so all in all does not feel like out boat. Give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure situation normal will return!
"All of the crew are now on time-off, and quite a few of us have our friends and family either here with us or on their way. There is a great debate over whether the cheapness of the Iberia flight is really worth it versus the comfort and convenience of British Airways - BA to BA is winning every time apparently!
"Anne, Jaffa, Jules and Steve have headed south for a few days to take in some mountain air in Patagonia, Geoff is off trekking in Chile, Vince has gone home to see Mandy+1 (due in December) and Slippers (John Wilkinson!) has also sloped off home to meet our weather expert and procure certain items, which should help us for the next leg. If any of you meet Slippers over the next week beware the tales he tells - very selective memory shall we say... must be his age!
"It was also with great sadness to the team that we had to say goodbye to Sam and Andrew (SAIC La Jolla's leggers). Sam is still in BA with his other half for a holiday but Andrew flew home on Friday, ready for work on Monday. We did not let them go without a little send off, and they are now the proud owners of authentic Argentinean polo tops. Thanks for the champagne guys (hint for all future leggers) - you'll be sorely missed and were truly stars of the team. On a brighter note, we will be welcoming Annie and David to BA next week. We are looking forward to your enthusiasm and ideas."
On each yacht there are 15 core crew and two 'leggers' who will do just one or two of the legs.