Team Adventure, the American mega catamaran entered in The Race of the Millennium, docked in La Coruna, Spain early this morning to carry out a thorough safety check after sailing to windward in gale force conditions for more than two days.
The big cat is on an offshore delivery from her builder's yard in Cherbourg, France, to the Mediterranean.
Lewis and his 14-man crew aboard the 110-foot Gilles Ollier-designed catamaran spent nearly 24 hours hove-to in a 40-knot gale in the notorious Bay of Biscay during the weekend. They were 70 miles west of Cape Finisterre when they learned that the Principality of Monaco had cancelled the Prologue program for The Race. "Without any deadline pressures to get to Monaco, it was a prudent move to check the boat over carefully," Lewis said. "The boat is very solid and she performed beautifully, but it was a tough three days and it made sense to do a 1,000-mile service check a few miles sooner than we might have."
La Coruna is situated on the northwest tip of Spain, just above the Portuguese border. Team Adventure is expected to stay there 24 to 48 hours before heading for Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast. Larry Rosenfeld, Lewis' partner and the co-navigator of Team Adventure said they decided to take it easy as winds gusted over 40 knots. They slowed the boat down by clawing to windward with only a storm jib. He said the boat handled the 15 to 20-foot seas with ease. "After we made the decision at 1:00 am today to head for La Coruna, we bore away on a reach," Rosenfeld said. "The true wind was 42 knots and the boat was doing 18 knots with just the storm jib and the sail area of the wing mast. It created an apparent wind across the deck of 55 knots. We were sailing along the wave trains of the cross-seas. The boat just smoothed out and took off like a rocket."