AZAB Preparations 2011

Carolina Contessa 32 AZAB Log
Richard Clark
Sat 8 Jan 2011 15:08

Carolina has been entered for the 2011 AZAB which starts on June 4th from Falmouth.

For some reason the AZAB has been an ambition for around 25 years, I cant explain why but after completing some extended off-shore sailing in 2009 including the ARC, I found myself finally filling-in the entry form as soon as we got to St Lucia. It seemed such a long way off then but now in January 2011 the anxiety of preparation is beginning to make itself felt. There is an astonishing amount of work (and expense) required and I will admit to completely under-estimating the  effort and application involved.

A good sailing friend David Feltham has kindly agreed to complete the race with me both ways and we successfully completed our 500 mile qualifier in August 2010, so we are officially in the race. For the qualifier we sailed from the Solent down the channel and then SW out to “Little Sole bank” where we turned around and headed back to Cornwall for Fowey Week.

I am writing this to make a start (its a wet Saturday) on learning how to use the mailasail web diary. I tested the Iridium email service and weather GRIB downloads during the qualifier and thanks to Edd at mailasail it all worked out of the box. This is my first venture into blogs etc.

Carolina is currently out of the water and you can see from the photo of the recent lift what a shocking bottom she had, I am ashamed but the Hamble slime all came off with a quick jet wash.

Fortunately we had a lot of work completed on Carolina last year, she spent a few months with Jeremy Rogers in Lymington, the original building in 1973. This was her second visit and I won’t bore you with the list of improvements but they extended from a new stainless steel water tank, which meant a new floor which lead to a new heads and galley, seacock's, engine out, new forepeak bunks etc...

Most importantly I managed to buy a Monitor Windvane from EBay (whilst sitting in St Lucia after the ARC) which I fitted with the help of Nick at Ocean Rigging. It is simply fantastic and steered the boat for nearly 6 days non-stop during the qualifier in various conditions.

May go to the London Boat Show tomorrow as I have a lot of questions for a lot of people.