Interview with Team SEB skipper Gunnar Krantz on the dockside after finishing second in Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday.
Q: Could you tell me what the feeling was like when you crossed the finish
A: The feeling was that we should have been first. But the feeling isn't good enough, we have to do it as well, and this time we gave illbruck the opportunity to pass. They sailed well, we sailed extremely well as well, but at the wrong part of the race, not over the finish line. We are very happy with second as a place but it was just the feeling that we had number one. In a couple of days we'll get rid of the bittersweet taste and be very happy.
Q: What went wrong?
A: Two things - material and technical issues was one; a combination with being too extreme in our choice across the Australian Byte. Had we not had problems we would have been really, really good - it was so much on the edge that every thing that went wrong had a big effect on us.
Q: How was the Southern Ocean?
A: It was very unfriendly, very fast and very powerful. It was a very humble experience as usual, it makes you realise how small the human being is and how powerful nature is.
Q: A world record of 460.4 miles in a day, how did that feel?
A: Big Tuesday! That was just hilarious, crazy and fascinating, definitely dangerous - everything was beyond the edge. We were crashing and burning, back on our feet again, then off we would go - it was wild!! I've never experienced anything like that - normally in the Southern Ocean it is colder and maybe windier. This time was such a hard push on the boats and we got everything we could out of the wind.
Q: Any really dangerous moments?
A: Yes. Every moment you go through that hatch and out on deck you have adangerous moment. We had waves coming over us that swept people off their feet, and crashing into pedestals. Once we went through that period we had a lot of bruises and twisted, bashed up arms and legs.
Q: Do you want to do it again?!?
A: I'm ready to go now! If I got another chance to try for first I would.
Q: Are you looking forward to the Hobart Race?
A: Coming up here and seeing the waves, going downwind, and realising we are going upwind in the other direction - not really! It will take me a couple of days before I even think about it.
Q: You can beat illbruck though…
A: We can beat illbruck, and that felt good. We have no hesitation over charging at them for first place, it's just that we have to keep our game together a bit more all the way - maybe we pushed too hard in the Southern Ocean, and maybe that came back on us in the end as we were maybe tired. Also, without a Navigator, obviously that must have had some effect on our game plan.
Q: And what effect do you think that did have on you?
A: We will never know what effect exactly that had on us, but we know somewhere there will have been. We sailed well all the way, apart from a few things we did wrong and caused by technical issues. The wipe-out was one, and we blew out the spinnaker a couple of times, and we couldn't choose our own track. It maybe all hung together like that - A little mistake can have huge effect.