Andy Hudson, bow team on Jazz

The boys and i have been waiting for the breeze for the better part of six days and now that it’s here, we are simply loving it! We are charging along at an average of just over 18 knots boat speed with bursts up to 25, 8C degree water hosing over the decks and fog rolling in every so often limiting our visibility to no more than a few boat lengths.

For a 22 year old, having cracked four Sydney to Hobarts, its a really great feeling to finally ‘put the hammer down’ for extended periods of time. We don’t see fog whilst racing in Oz, this is now our fourth day of sea fog in a row.
As the bowman part of my duties include crawling up the front to change spinnakers. To put this in perspective, imagine crawling onto a trampoline thats bouncing you around while some unforgiving bloke points a cold fire hose in your face. Meanwhile, you are dragging a big bulky bag that weighs nearly the same as you do and you can’t let it go as you might face some fairly grumpy team mates if she goes over the side.
After coping a couple of bruises and using a combination of shouting and hand signals, the shute goes up and i hurry back to pull down the old spinnaker, re-pack it in the sweaty cabin and get back up on deck. I find it amazing how tasks such as this would be simple when performed in Sydney Harbour and yet are time consuming and physically taxing such that every off watch tends to be a welcome respite.
It was a fairly daunting task, preparing myself mentally for the 14 day crossing of the infamous North Atlantic Ocean, but at the halfway point i find myself hoping the race will miraculously continue allowing us to work our way back into contention against the big boats that have had the luxury of solid breeze all the way so far.
The camaraderie on board is excellent with both watches now calling themselves the ‘A watch’ as the debate about which team has covered the most miles continues. Anyways, time to go back to preparing the freeze dried lunch for the fellas so we can continue launching the mighty ‘Cooko’ towards the finish. Now 1255 miles to go.
Have fun,
Andy Hudson

Search TR2019 Search TR2019