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Conrad Coleman


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Here's a bit from Conrad Coleman's blog. http://www.conradcolman.com/ This guy has to be one of the current greats in NZ offshore racing.. Very understated, but his accomplishments say it all. Personal hero of mine! :thumbup: :thumbup:

 

 

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April 20th, 2013 | Published in Uncategorized

 

It has taken me quite some time to regroup after my successful Global Ocean Race. Since winning the GOR by crossing the famous finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France I took some time out to see long neglected friends, visited hospital to have reconstructive surgery on my shoulder and renovate my house.

 

Sailing during this time was limited to coaching sessions on friend’s Mini 6.50s and a some extreme F18 catamaran sailing under grey skys and blowing snow. It has been valuable to take some time to reflect on the last few years because I have bounced quickly from the Mini Transat to the Route du Rhum and then without pause into the round the world race. A fast rise through the offshore racing ranks but one that took a toll despite my boundless enthusiasm.

 

Now retooled and refreshed I am spending the Caribbean season with Ambersail, a Lithuanian Volvo 60 that was Assa Abloy in the 2001-2002 edition of the race. After working with the team in Auckland last year to prepare them for the Sydney Hobart I rejoined the boat in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil for the delivery to Antigua. This was not your standard delivery however as the systems on the boat had been damaged by an electrical storm by Rio and the mainsail had fallen down when the headboard ripped off. I couldn’t fix the fried electrics but hand stitched the sail back together, finishing off the job with steel plates and pop rivets. Not your standard sail makers tools but in Brazil one has to improvise!

 

As most of my sailing is done strictly by the numbers it was refreshing to sail a big boat “blind” as one does with a dinghy. With a headlamp on the compass, and no other instruments, we charged through the nights under spinnaker with only seat of the pants sensations to help our trimming and driving.

 

We have just completed the Voiles de St Barths regatta which proved to be a world apart from solo ocean racing! This regatta proved an interesting introduction to how most people race yachts… namely, for a few hours under the sun with a cold beer and clean sheets waiting at the dock instead of racing through a freezing washing machine like I normally do! I could enjoy the change but couldn’t quite get my head around the idea of a rest day in the middle of the the most relaxed sailing week of my life!

 

 

 

I am currently in Guadeloupe preparing the boat for Antigua Race Week before I fly to the States to join Eric Lecoq in the Atlantic Cup. I watched this race with interest when I was in Charleston last year during the GOR stopover and I’m thrilled to be joining them this year. The race leaves from Charleston for NYC before finishing in Newport RI at the end of May.

 

The break was great but its excellent to be back on the horse again

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