Great footage (helicopter, drone, and on-board) of my other…

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Great footage (helicopter, drone, and on-board) of my other favorite team (MAPFRE) rounding Fastnet Rock. Includes a nice close-up of Sophie grinding.

Can I just say as an aside how cool it is that MAPFRE’s team has chosen as their women crewmembers two who specialize in “strength” positions?

I wondered about that a little in the run-up to this edition of the race, when Sophie hadn’t been announced as crew on any of the boats. Because last time around she was talked about as being “a beast in the gym” by her crewmates on SCA, but that was in an all-woman crew. This time, with the modified man/woman crew incentives promoting mixed crews, I worried teams would opt for helmswomen and trimmers, leaving people like Sophie (who admittedly is also known as a good helmswoman) on shore. Because the teams would want strapping dudes for the winches and moving the stack.

But in all the Leg 0 footage of MAPFRE I’ve seen so far, Sophie’s been right in the thick of things, grinding and shifting sails and working the foredeck. And I dunno; I just think that’s cool. She’s a great sailor. They want her on the team. And she’s giving it her all.

There’s such a calm, focused vibe coming off the boat. I’m still betting on Dongfeng to win the whole thing. But I think Xabi Fernández has a good shot at it. Either way I’m going to be excited.

My two favorites are duking it out at the front of the race-within-a-race as they weave through the exclusion zones and past the Scilly Islands on their way to the finish at Falmouth, with MAPFRE just a skosh ahead of Dongfeng:

The only thing that could make this better for me is if they finish in a tie. 😜

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¡Vamos MAPFRE!The 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race won’t…

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

¡Vamos MAPFRE!

The 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race won’t start until October, but the pre-race “Leg Zero” series got under way today. Seven Volvo 65s raced as a class in the Around the Island Race, circling the Isle of Wight as part of Cowes Week. Spanish entry MAPFRE, with skipper Xabi Fernández, was the winner, setting a monohull course record of 3h 13m 11s.

I still think Dongfeng (which came in fourth today) has the best chance to win the race around the world. But I can’t not cheer for MAPFRE, given that my favorite sailor from the last edition has a spot on the boat. 🙂

Next up: The 600-mile Fastnet Race, which starts this Sunday, August 6.

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Today is the 10th anniversary of Hans Horrevoets’ death. He was…

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Today is the 10th anniversary of Hans Horrevoets’ death. He was swept overboard from ABN Amro Two and drowned during the transatlantic leg of the 2005/2006 Volvo. The VOR media team put together this video, including interviews with three of his fellow crewmembers and footage of Sophie Ciszek accepting the Hans Horrevoets Rookie Award for the most-recent race.

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Dee and Sophie talk about getting washed off the foredeck (Dee)…

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Dee and Sophie talk about getting washed off the foredeck (Dee) and the wheel (Sophie) while racing in the South Atlantic. April 2, 2015. Source, source.

The oldest and youngest on the boat this leg. Also: biggest goofballs.

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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 Results

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Apologies for my not obsessing properly about the Volvo for the last several days. For those who follow the race vicariously via my fanboying, a summary of recent events is below the cut.

The first four boats finished leg 5 a couple of days ago, all within a single hour, and less than 2 minutes between 3rd and 4th, which is, frankly, kind of ridiculous. Here’s the extended video of the finish:

Finish positions were:

  • 1st – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
  • 2nd – MAPFRE
  • 3rd – Alvimedica
  • 4th – Brunel

Because Dongfeng withdrew after their mast broke they get 8 points for this leg, which sucks for them. They went into the leg tied for the lead with ADOR, but now they’re 7 points behind with 4 legs to go. They’re still the closest to ADOR, but the only way they can beat them for the overall win is to pick up an average of 2 points on each of the remaining 4 legs. Since ADOR so far has never finished worse than 3rd, and has only finished that far back once, it’s going to be a pretty tall order for the Chinese/French boat, unless they get some help in the form of a major problem resulting in a DNF for ADOR on one of the remaining legs.

SCA is still on the racecourse, though they should be finishing in a few more hours. They’ve had lots of adventures on the way north from Cape Horn. For example, there’s this exciting/scary video of Dee getting knocked off her feet by a wave while shifting a sail on the foredeck:

Dee’s awesome. I’m so glad they have her on board.

And then there’s this video of Sophie getting blown off the wheel by a wave, causing her to slam into the lifelines. She’s sore, she says, but okay:

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Sophie explains what happened to her during the unplanned gybe…

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Sophie explains what happened to her during the unplanned gybe yesterday.

Such an adorable goofball. So happy she’s merely bruised and sore; that could have been bad.

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lies:Taking LeaveNic Douglas and Jan Edney filmed a “dock walk”…

Friday, March 20th, 2015

lies:

Taking Leave

Nic Douglas and Jan Edney filmed a “dock walk” on the morning of the departure from Auckland, covering the last 45 minutes or so before the boats left. And it was simultaneously both a little dull and kind of fascinating.

It was dull because all the big departure events had taken place three days before. The wait for Typhoon Pam meant that the shore facilities had been packed and shipped off to the next stop, and a lot of the shore team and family members had likewise left. So the only people on the dock were the sailors and a relative handful of well-wishers and media. It was a quiet, almost somber scene.

Two moments stuck out for me. One was the brief goodbye between Sophie and a man I didn’t recognize; he had an SCA jacket on, but I don’t know if he was a coach, family member, or friend. I especially liked the last tap on the head: Be smart out there.

The second moment was when Libby was walking by and called out to her brother Rob, who walked out to the stern of MAPFRE to talk to her. They exchanged a few words, then Libby continued down the dock toward SCA.

I was struck by Rob’s body language. While talking to Libby he seemed casual, looking down at some piece of equipment he was holding. But when she left he lifted his head and watched her walk away, his little sister, about to set out on the leg he’s done three times before, but that she never has. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But I don’t think so.

Reblogging myself to say that someone with a personal connection to the team was kind enough to let me know that in the first set of images Sophie is talking to Dr. Antonio Zoido, the team physician. Which, given Sophie’s back issues and her campaign to rejoin the boat, makes that moment even more meaningful.

Here’s an interview with Dr. Zoido from the Cape Town stopover:

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Taking LeaveNic Douglas and Jan Edney filmed a “dock walk” on…

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Taking Leave

Nic Douglas and Jan Edney filmed a “dock walk” on the morning of the departure from Auckland, covering the last 45 minutes or so before the boats left. And it was simultaneously both a little dull and kind of fascinating.

It was dull because all the big departure events had taken place three days before. The wait for Typhoon Pam meant that the shore facilities had been packed and shipped off to the next stop, and a lot of the shore team and family members had likewise left. So the only people on the dock were the sailors and a relative handful of well-wishers and media. It was a quiet, almost somber scene.

Two moments stuck out for me. One was the brief goodbye between Sophie and a man I didn’t recognize; he had an SCA jacket on, but I don’t know if he was a coach, family member, or friend. The audio is mostly inaudible, but the body language speaks volumes, especially the last tap on the head. Be smart out there.

The second moment was when Libby was walking by and called out to her brother Rob, who walked out to the stern of MAPFRE to talk to her. They exchanged a few words, then Libby continued down the dock toward SCA.

I was struck by Rob’s body language. While talking to Libby he seemed casual, looking down at some piece of equipment he was holding. But as she walked away he lifted his head and followed her with his gaze, his little sister. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But I don’t think so.

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Practice Race in Auckland: Team SCA from above. Photo by Ainhoa…

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Practice Race in Auckland: Team SCA from above. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

It’s fun for me at this point, now that I recognize most of them, to zoom in on a photo like this and imagine what’s going on.

There’s that tight group of Stacey, Abby, Dee, and Liz on the rail, having one of those fun conversations you get to have when you’re mostly there for weight, at least for the moment.

And then I think that’s Sam trimming the main and pointing to leeward, with Sally talking tactics with her. And Carolijn on the helm with that head tilt she does.

I think maybe that’s Annie sitting aft of the group on the rail, facing back toward the cockpit, and then maybe Elodie in the gray shirt sitting on the high side of the cockpit? Though the name on the shirt seems too short, so I’m not sure. And there are a bunch of passengers, including what look like one or two dudes toward the stern, one hiking out and one holding what I suspect is a big camera. Y chromosome represent!

But my favorite thing is seeing you-know-who back on the handles. :-)

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Team SCA bow women Stacey Jackson, Liz Wardley, and Sophie…

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Team SCA bow women Stacey Jackson, Liz Wardley, and Sophie Ciszek.

I mentioned my surprise at Sophie getting her wish to be back on the boat for leg 5. I noticed in the final crew roster that both Stacey Jackson and Liz Wardley (the boat’s #1 and #2 bow persons) would be on board too, and then Dee Caffari’s better half, who’s a regular on the Sailing Anarchy forums, pointed out to me that Sophie wasn’t on the boat for this leg as a bow person, but as a driver, based on her previously discussed talent for surfing big waves. Hopefully being at the back of the boat will help her protect her back.

The other crew switch they’re doing between Saturday’s in-port race and the leg 5 start (now scheduled for no earlier than Monday, to give Cyclone Pam time to get out of the way) is that they’re taking off Sally Barkow (who’s arguably one of the best around-the-buoys tacticians on the team) and replacing her with Sara Hastreiter, who sat out leg 4. Presumably Sara will be working the pit, but she’s also worked the bow on previous legs.

I think it’s smart for them to load up the boat with bow people for this leg. They’re the kind of sailors who get a lot of practice staying on board when waves are trying to wash them off, and they’re generally good at wrestling angry sails into submission and imposing order on chaos. All of those skills are going to be really useful over the next few weeks.

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Team SCA on Twitter

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Team SCA on Twitter:

Yeah! Go Sophie!

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I went to sleep after SCA finished but before they reached the…

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

I went to sleep after SCA finished but before they reached the dock, so this is the first time I’ve seen the video of their arrival. There’s a good interview with Annie, a heart-warming shot of Carolijn greeting her son, and a couple of shots of Sophie there to greet them on the dock, yay!

I have my fingers crossed that she’ll be able to go on leg 5. Her back injury sounded bad, and the bow of a Volvo 65 in the Southern Ocean is pretty much the worst place I can imagine putting someone whose back is suspect. No matter how well she’s done in terms of recovery, you’d have to think there’d be concern on the team about the risk they — and she — will be incurring if they take her.

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Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, interviewed by Leighton OConner before…

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, interviewed by Leighton OConner before the start of Leg 1. Source.

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flightofthelbd replied to your post: “Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, January 25, 2015. Source.”: I…

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

flightofthelbd replied to your post: “Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, January 25, 2015. Source.”:

I haven’t been following this, but why wouldn’t she be able to do it?

She suffered a herniated disc in her back on leg 2, needed surgery, and is still recovering. There’s more detail in the linked video.

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Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, January 25, 2015. Source.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, January 25, 2015. Source.

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Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, January 24, 2015 Source

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, January 24, 2015

Source

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Sophie Ciszek, currently recovering from back surgery, will be…

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Sophie Ciszek, currently recovering from back surgery, will be interviewed tomorrow by the VOR media team.

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Crew for Leg 3 – Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Crew for Leg 3 – Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race:

As I was speculating, Sophie is off for Leg 3:

The Team SCA squad is about to start a well-earned five-day break and has today confirmed the crew line-up for Leg Three from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, due to start on January 3, 2015. As part of the crew ‘rotation’ for most legs, Sophie Ciszek and Liz Wardley will be standing down and Sally Barkow and Sara Hastreiter (reserves for Leg Two) will be rejoining the sailing crew for the leg.

“It is great to have Sally and Sara back onboard,” comments Sam Davies, Team SCA skipper. “Sophie is also suffering from a lumber herniated disc and will probably have a micro-disectomy later this week. This is a fairly common athletic injury and the prognosis is positive so it should be a relatively short time before she is back up to 100%.”

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Quotes from the dock – Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Quotes from the dock – Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race:

I’m liking what I’m hearing from the team about doing their best to avoid navigational errors and stick close to the other boats to learn from speed comparisons. I’m concerned that Sophie’s back injury might keep her out of Leg 3, though. Hope she improves quickly; the Leg 3 start is January 3 (the day after the Abu Dhabi in-port race), which means she has just under 3 weeks.

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“I’m kind of known onboard to be good at catching the waves….

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

“I’m kind of known onboard to be good at catching the waves. It’s got to come from my surfing – sailing and surfing go hand in hand. The boat is much bigger and faster than a surfboard, there are 12 people on it, but the elements are the same. When I’m steering the boat downwind, I look at numbers but I pretty much read the waves. And catching a wave with the boat going around 30 knots is pretty crazy.”

— Sophie Ciszek

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