Finally I have something I am keen to shout about! We have managed to buy a Volvo 70 for the Westabout, which is a real result. It has been a very long hard road to get to this point, but like most good things in life, you have to fight for them, and if it came easily it wouldn’t mean as much, or that’s the way I feel.
At the moment I’m really happy about my situation and what’s happening – a group of friends and supporters led by a long term friend of mine, has stepped up and helped me to secure the boat – Volvo 70s are a bit thin on the ground now, and it looked at one point like we might get a sponsor but not be able to find a suitable boat which would have been ironic! BluQube have stepped up again for their tenth year of supporting me, their branding is on the boat at the moment until the title sponsor comes on line, and it looks stunning I think. With bluQube’s help I was able to get a few last bits and pieces sorted out and get the boat on it’s way home from Spain where we bought it.
We now have some aerial shots of the boat now from LPB, something I’ve never had before either, and they are just fantastic. It is a bit daunting to see the scale of the boat against one small bloke, but hey, people have sailed bigger boats solo and I know I can do it – we’ve been sailing most days from Portland Marina (Dean and Reddyhoff are involved again for which I am very grateful), so I’m getting to grips with the size of the sails, the loads and so on. Actually, I don’t think it’s that bad…….maybe I am just mental as some people keep telling me I am!
Either way, sailing from Portland straight out into deep water and the Channel is great, I can’t stand dodging traffic in the Solent whilst doing 25 knots, it’s like the M25 with water!
We will be doing the Westabout next year now – yes, it does clash with the Vendée, but I have my reasons for preferring my record attempt in 2016. We have a good timeframe, over 16 months to going on standby, which will see me fully physically fit, comfortable with the boat, and with the right modifications done to the boat in the proper fashion. I’m looking to do this record once and do it right, and this is a good length of time to facilitate this.
Watch this space, it’s all on the up from here on in, and if you’re in Portland swing by the boat and say “Hi”!!