Brave sailors seas the day as part of thrilling contest
EVERY three years some of the fastest yachts take to the seas for a thrilling race around the world.
The Volvo Ocean Race is staged over a total distance of about 37 000 nautical miles, so it’s a long, long way to go on a sailing boat. There are six yachts and nine legs in the race.
The yachts sailed from Alicante, Spain on November 5 to Cape Town, the first leg of the race. There will be a 17- day stopover before the race gets under way to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
A race village has been set up at the V&A Waterfront. There is a special education programme for children where they can learn how to keep the oceans clean, information on all the different countries involved in the race and what it’s like to sail on these boats for months at a time.
The village is also an exciting venue to see the boats in and out of the water. The village includes activities for the whole family such as a 3D cinema, a race simulator, an environment exhibition, challenges and a variety of live entertainment.
There will also be an albatross called Wisdom, which will teach children in every port how important it is to look after all sea birds. The ocean is their playground, as it is for the Volvo Ocean Race sailors.
Lisa Duthie, spokeswoman for the Cape Town leg of the race, said that each boat had a team of 11 sailors, who were very fit and strong. They were some of the world’s best sailors, she said.
Each team has its own colours.
“They are sometimes on the boats for 20 days at a time. They have to endure all types of weather conditions, like rough seas and heavy winds. The men can get very cold. Sometimes there is no wind and it gets very hot.”
Each sailor has a special job to do on the boat. They all need to work like a team to make the boat go as fast as possible.
She said they also eat special food during the race because there was limited space on the boats and the kitchen was very small.
“When the boats reach land, the sailors are very happy to see their families and they can get a good rest.”
There were also teams on shore, called the shore- team. They were responsible for fixing any damage to the yachts and making sure they were ready to race again.
The yachts are made of special material to keep them very light and strong. This means they can go very fast.
“The sailors describe the experience like being on a train on the water. Although if there are strong winds, it can be very scary. They also need to be careful not to smash into pieces of junk in the water, because the yachts are so fast that the men can be hurt.” She said the yachts were not very comfortable to live in; the sleeping area and kitchen areas were very small, and the boats usually moved around a lot in rough seas, so it was not easy to relax. Sailors also did not get much sleep, she said, but they managed because they were extremely fit.
The yachts have special radios that can tell people on the land exactly where they are all the time. Even if the sailors think they are lost, the radio will send a signal to men on the land, and they will know where the boat is.
The other cities and countries the races stops over at after Abu Dhabi include: Sanya in China; Auckland in New Zealand; Itajai in Brazil; Miami in the US; Lisbon in Portugal; and Lorient in Brittany. The last leg is to the finish in Galway, Ireland.
The Keep the Oceans Clean team will help to clean beaches in every place that the boats stop, so that Wisdom and his friends have a clean beach to play on.
Four ’Beans stand a chance to win a prize for four kids to go for a ride on the ferris wheel at the V&A while the village is open, followed by a tour through the race village where they will be taught about the boats and the race. Simply answer this question and SMS the answer, your name, surname and age to “34445”.
Factfile: The Lifecycle of rubbish:
Cigarette butts: with filter one to two years and without a filter three to four months Plastic bag: 450 years Plastic bottle: 100 to 1 000 years Glass bottle: 4 000 years Aluminium can: 200 to 500 years
Tin can: 10 to 100 years
What is the race