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11 April 2005, 02:18 pm
Clean Up Operation In Full Swing
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2004/2005 Global Challenge
Cape Town, South Africa

After a beautiful, windy morning in Cape Town yesterday the weather turned and thunder, lightning and torrential rain followed. Thankfully for the teams it did not last and the clean-up operation continued apace.
Having accommodated a racing crew for up to 40 days, each yacht has to be stripped down and meticulously cleaned, before anyone leaves for a well-deserved holiday in Cape Town and the surrounding region.

Bunks are put out to air, and everything is cleaned from the sheets to the foul weather gear. The yachts are scrubbed from bow to stern, inside and out, and rig and sail checks carried out. The list of tasks goes on… The Challenge Business Technical Team are also already hard at work examining every yacht and starting the repairs and maintenance to prepare the yachts for the next leg to Boston.

'We've been finishing off our boat clean,' said Rhod PHILLIPS (GBR), Watch Leader aboard Samsung, in an interview today. 'The tradition on Samsung is that you get 24-hours off to relax after the leg and then we can normally get the boat cleaned up in about two days. Today is the second day and we've just locked the boat up, everything is nice and clean and after our 40 day leg it's all looking in good shape … it's as good as new now!'

With the cleaning already finished, PHILLIPS was asked to sum up the leg from his perspective:'Very long! It's a very strange feeling - very quickly after leaving Sydney you just feel like you're going to be out there forever and there's not going to be an end to it. Initially we ended up with some quite bad weather so you feel as though you're getting kicked around a bit. And then of course you've got the frustration of coming into South Africa with very little or no wind and zero boat speed, which is really frustrating!'

'Traditionally I have a low ebb at around eight to ten days when I look at the charts and realize that we've only gone a very small distance out of the entire leg and I seem to get a bit down. But after around 15 days I perk up again and get into the routine of the watches.'

'For me it ticks along pretty well, I'm one of the watch leaders on Samsung so every watch is busy with decisions like sail changes so it goes pretty quick but 40 days can seem a long time!'

'People say that the Southern Ocean is a beautiful place but I'd slightly disagree; mostly it's just various shades of grey. But occasionally you get a day, even in quite heavy weather, when you're steering away and the waves seem to be going in the right direction in plenty of wind with a bright blue sky and you're absolutely hooning along. Absolutely fantastic - really good!'

Dan Wedgwood. Image, Cleaning Team Save the Children:© Challenge Business
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