Sam Goodchild and Ned Collier-Wakefield were trying to cling on to the many positives and deal with the bitter disappointment Tuesday afternoon as the young British duo closed slowly with the Azores archipelago, the Atlantic’s final resting place for so many ocean racing dreams.
After suffering hull cracks as a result of the relentless pounding over recent days the young duo were forced out of the biennial Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Costa Rica that morning, having just taken the lead in Class 40 after lying second since the start gun sounded off Le Havre last Wednesday.
Sounding dejected, Goodchild, the race’s youngest competitor at 21, told Race HQ in Paris that they had serious concerns that cracking of the inner laminate skin of their Concise 2 was threatening to let in water.
Just when they were emerging into more favorable weather after seemingly having dealt with the worst of the race’s three consecutive low pressure systems, their only course of action was to turn from their profitable northern track –and head south for the Azores some 120 miles to the south, carefully preserving their boat sailing only under staysail.
“It is pretty devastating. This race is something we have been both looking forward to for such a long time.” Goodchild affirmed, “ It has been my dream for so long, so then to take the start and to be in a position we never imagined we would be in, second for most of the first week and then overtaking last night, it kind of rubs it in a bit more and makes it a bit more devastating.”
For the complete story, go to www.transat-jacques-vabre.com.