Ready for The Ocean Race

Selecting the team, training maneuvers, fine-tuning the boat and the first harbor race. The last few weeks were all about the perfect preparation for the upcoming Ocean Race. And we had the first harbor race on January 8th. A great start to our adventure, which unfortunately ended in silence. Calm.

In preparation we train maneuvers and we are busy getting the boat as fast and reliable as possible. The last refit was in November in Barcelona. From that moment on it is important to test and fine-tune as much as possible while sailing. For me as skipper there was another task: I had to select the last sailors for the 2 open places. I selected Gregg Parker and Joy Fitzgerald for this. Gregg is a strong fellow, handy on the foredeck and as a groomer. Joy is a smart sailor and always smiling.

Alicante import race

With the whole team together we trained here for the last week and prepared for the Inport race. This race in the port of Alicante was on Sunday, January 8. After the start we were soon in third place. Halfway through the race we managed to overtake the Mirpurri Racing Team from Portugal. Lying in a nice second place behind the WhindWhisper team from Poland, the wind dropped completely and it became a drifting party.

The Polish team reached the finish line just in time. Compliments. We and all other followers unfortunately finished outside the time limit. In my opinion, it is a questionable decision by the race management not to shorten the race. Not letting 5 out of 6 boats finish is not the goal of this race. But it is as it is.

Watch In-Port race Alicante back

Team is running well

I do look back positively. The boat feels good, the new sails with the JAJO branding look great and as a team we also have a great time together here. A lot of experienced sailors have already told me; before you know it it’s all over.

In short, I like it here. As a skipper it is very nice to see that the team is running well. Everyone is responsible for something else on board. And everyone does his or her best to prepare for the start as best as possible.

We also have a good time together here. The race village is open to the public and very cozy. Many people pass by our boat and wish us good luck. On Sunday, many will also be on the sidelines when we leave for the first stage towards the Cape Verde islands.

Interviews and good luck in the race village in Alicante. Photo: Caroline Korsten

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Jelmer van Beek

I am skipper on the JAJO VO65. The boat will participate in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup in 2023. On this website you can read my adventures and experiences towards The Ocean Race.

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