Financial Crisis: Akilaria RC1 hull number 41 is for sale

Financial Crisis, sail number 41, registered name "Mowgli" is for sale by
owner. Currently engaged in the Global Ocean Race the boat is viewable at
any of the remaining stopovers, Wellington, Punta del Este, Charleston or
Europe at the end of the race with an opportunity for the new owner for a
test sail or even joining one of the remaining legs of the race as
co-skipper.

I have invested all my funds in putting together this campaign, but
unfortunately I am struggling to see the race through having been unable
to raise any further sponsorship since leaving Palma.

The albatrosses are getting bigger - is that good or bad?

We've now been at sea for 8 days, many of which are just a blur. In the
last few we've been reaching in fairly stable winds and it gets a bit
monotonous. I'm in no way complaining as it looks like we're going to get
our backs kicked in a few days by a cold front with strong and gusty winds
so we may as well enjoy the easy ride for now.

I've taken the chance to eat more than in the previous days and add as
much as possible to the rest and energy bank as i'm sure we still have to
see a lot worse than so far.

Our distance to Phesheya has been fairly constant but we've lost VHF and
AIS contact which is a shame as a friendly voice in the middle of the
ocean really makes your day.

Deep ocean match racing continues

It's another pleasant sail today in the Southern Ocean, reaching west in
warm Northerly winds. We are sailing with Phesheya Racing in sight just
behind our stern now, we chatted on VHF a few times exchanging jokes and
banter, which is really nice, sharing the adventure with your competitors
i think is part of this great race.

On the VHF chat we all expressed our gratitude for the extremely nice
conditions that we are being blessed with and which should be with us
another while still as it seems we'll manage to keep with this weather
system for a few days... we really cannot complain.

Southern Ocean randez vous between Financial Crisis and Phesheya Racing

After six days of racing i have a sense of deja vu, the three new boats
are at the front and here futher back we are nearly in visual contact with
Phesheya Racing which is about 7 miles to our port, we had a brief radio
chat and as we are converging we should actually see them pretty soon...
the same had happened by the Gibriltar and again by the coast of Morocco
in leg one. The two boats are same design and same speed and it makes it
real special in the solitude of the Southern Ocean to have your fellow
racers and friends close by...

It's another very pleasant sunny day and we should enjoy stable and
relatively light conditions for a few days ahead.

A welcome break in hot sunshine and gentle winds

After days of being punished and thrown around things have definitely
turned for the better, we have emerged from our dry suits stinking like
dead rats and are enjoying a lovely spinnaker run in a hot sunshine and
gentle 20-25 knots of wind. I guess conditions like this will be
exceptional but who says we cant enjoy them while they last.

Both Hugo and I have found ourselves needing quite a lot of catching up
with sleep but feeling a million times better every time we squeeze in a
few restful hours. I still think the emotional roller coaster of the first
few days was a combination of fear of the unknown, apprehension and
immediate physical exhaustion while being thrown around in wet horrible
conditions...

The way to diet: Non surgical gastric bands

If you are looking at a non-surgical equivalent to a gastric band look no
further, come to the great south where we'll make you feel a constant knot
around your stomach to lose weight. In the past few days it's been either
windy or freaking windy, and as far as I understand this still absolutely
nothing compared to what we might get.

Yesterday we got caught small spinnaker up in a front with gusts up to 45
knots and had to wrestle the thing down, we just discussed the strategy
for the night and we really have to balance speed with safety and gear
preservation, it still is a long long way to Wellington and with no land
in sight any major breakages would mean a very very long limp to the
finish.

Finally flying in the right direction after a windless night

We spent the night in a windless hole with a 2-3 knots current dragging us
west, we can only blame lack of research and preparation for not knowing
about this adverse river in our way, i guess everyone had to cross it but
we certainly got the worst of it as we had no wind at all to reach the
other side of the stream. In the morning the wind finally filled, we
initially hoisted the A2 masthead spinnaker, but quickly the wind clocked
to the south west and the angle was too shy.

An emotional roller coaster in the grips of the south easterlies

I didnt have the easiest of starts, mentally, I think the stress in
getting things ready in Cape Town wore me out and I have to admit to a
very tough first 48 hours.

A tough start for leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race

We're at sea admiring a beautiful sunset and in the distance we can just
make Cape Good Hope that we are leaving behind us, this will most likely
be the last piece of land we'll see till we arrive in New Zealand.

My mood the day of the start was far than relaxed. I was apprehensive and
my mouth was dry, we are venturing towards the mysterious Southern
Ocean... The first night was tough, after a light patch of wind west of
Cape Town in the lee of Table Mountain the dreaded South Easter was
blowing 25-30 knots right on our noses and beating into the horrible seas
was many degrees of separations away from the word pleasant.

Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon ready to set off for leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race

I cannot believe it has been over three weeks since we arrived to Cape Town, time seems to have dissipated like the clouds that blow over Table Mountain when the Southeaster blows hard in Town. Repairs to the boat were finally completed just a few days ago, the food supplies replenished and the boat checked over for signs of wear and breakages. Tomorrow we'll finally set off for one of the two dreaded Southern Ocean legs, apprehension always lingers at the back of your mind but this is what we came to experience.

Sail damage in serious nose dive during storm

I've just had a dinner of rice with a thai green sauce and a peanut bar
for desert, slowly recovering from the busy day. The gale we faced
yesterday left us with a few issues to deal with. We had chosen a route
that kept us away from the very worst of the deepening depression but as
we sailed deeper into the low the wind was steadily above 40 knots and
gusting occasionally at nearly 50 knots.

We had been rather conservative in every step, we furled the solent quite
early on when the wind was still building, unfortunately the furling drum
was wrapped with a spinnaker sheet and it took a minute or two to resolve,
when it came to furling the sail we were hit by a gust and the violent
flogging put a tear in the leach of the sail. We havent been able to
assess the damage yet but hopefully it should be quite easily repairable,
we just need to find a window of calm weather to deal with it.

The wind built rapidly and we spent a lont time with 3 reefs in the main
and the staysail and still occasionally taking off massive surfs at 18 and
occasionally even 20 knots. We were mainly below with the hatch closed as
several waves broke in the cockpit...

The sea state deteriorated quite rapidly and occasionally we were hit by
larger than average cross waves. All seemed perfectly under control until
we sailed down the face of one of thes monsters, we started surfing
almost vertiacally until the bottom of the wave where we buried the bow
very violently. Sergio in his bunk was thrown forward by the sudden
deceleration but luckily was sleeping feet first and wasnt injured, the
whole boat tilted diagonally and just in that instant where you think
you're about to come upright the very wave that had sent us surfing broke
over the boat in a thunderous roar.

Eventually the boat re-emerged from the momentary sea burial as if nothing
had happened, those were quite scary instants. We could have done a lot of
damage but other than the fright we thought we had made it thorough
uscathed, that's until I looked out I noticed we had blown the foot of the
staysail, torn open by the force of the water breaking over the deck.

The staysail can be reefed and luckily the damage is contained below the
reef point, so we reefed the sail and continue rather undercanvassed for
the rest of the night. Today as the wind decreased we put the small A5
spinnaker and I took down the staysail to assess the damage. It's quite
bad, with one meter long vertical tear starting from the foot, but i think
with a little patience i can fix it, at least to make it serviceable in
case we need it again...

With two headsails damaged in the space of few hours I spent the day
needle in hand replaying our choices through my head. We had gained on
Phesheya but sustained some damage, yet we had lost lots of miles to
Cessna that seemed to be pushing through as if storms didnt affect them...
that's until midday today, Cessna had clearly stopped in the midst of the
storm, covering just a handful of miles in three hours, what happened? At
the next report they were moving again, ruling out a dismating but their
averages were not compatible with the winds they were in... We reduced our
deficit to them by nearly over 50 miles over the rest of the day and it is
unclear whether they are sailing at full capacity or not...

The race continues, we lick our wounds, we repair the damage and press on,
a final push towards Les Sables D'Olonne. Both men and machines are tired
and we hope to outsail the next depression forming behind and avoid the
strongest winds as its centre moves to the north, this time sailing fast
is the best defence, suits me, i really want to cross that finish line,
now just over 1500 miles away...