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First part of the interview with Capt. Jarek Kaczorowski before the start:

14 September 2007

How will this last day before the start look like?

On the eve of the start, Saturday, we will be cleaning our sailboat from the early morning to make it as fresh and clean as possible. We will secure the loads in the boat and load the necessary equipment. The obligatory meteorological clearance carried out by French forecasters responsible for the regatta takes place in the afternoon. A tasty dinner and a good night's sleep is what we need afterwards. On Sunday at 4 a m. our Slovenian meteorologist Jura takes us on clearance. A quarter to six everybody must be on their yacht, because the bridge of La Rochelle opens only between 6 a .m. and 7:30a.m. The entrance to La Rochelle is separated from the Ocean by a sluice and a bridge because of high tides. They open an hour prior to high waters and close an hour after high waters as a rule twice a day.

What will happen between leaving La Rochelle through the passage and the official start, which, as we know, has been postponed to 11 a .m.?

Marek will assist me on the boat in order to check whether everything works properly. Until 10 o'clock everyone except for the sailors has to leave the yacht and then I will be on my own.

How long will you be alone on the boat?

Approximately one week, which is about 1100NM - the distance between La Rochelle and the Island of Madeira . This is the end of the first leg. The start of the second leg is scheduled for the 6 th October and will last much longer, c.a. 20 days, during which a distance of 3100NM has to be covered.

You have just returned from the first meteorological clearance. What is the weather forecast?

Jura predicts a very mild wind early on Sunday. We can then expect a calm night. Afterwards we will be tacking to Western wind. Next weather forecasts and meteorological models will tell us whether we should sail on the right tack towards South-West or on the left tack towards North-West. Sailing on the left tack means reaching the target more slowly, but approaching faster the predicted cold meteorological front, which will bring beneficial, Northern wind. After catching it, I will be sailing on the backstag and owing to a strong wind the yacht will slide.

What do you take on the yacht?

Additional ropes, blocks, tools, sails, navigation aids, maps, pilotages of Africa and South America , a sextant and astronomical charts.

How much water do you take with you?

35 liters in canisters and 12 liters in bottles for the first leg. For the second part of the race 100 and 25 liters respectively.

Will you take some literature or music?

No books. If there is anything I will be reading then the pilotages. As for the music I have my Mp3-player with me with Brazilian songs, 7-hours of rhythmic and ethnic music played mainly by Africans and African Americans. The music was compiled by my colleagues from Gdynia especially for the these regatta.

In the second part of the interview we will learn how Jarek estimates his chances, who are his competitors and how to assess the safety on a small sailing boat during the race on the Ocean.


Interview by Olga and Karolina Doan


  Click on the thumbnails to view larger images.  



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