Today there is only 200 days until the start of the 2011 edition of the Azores and Back Race. 200 days sounds like a lot but in reality there is a lot of preparation to pack in between now and the delivery trip to Falmouth, both in terms of work on NINJOD and personal preparation.
Interest in the race has been immense and there are currently over 100 confirmed entries. While the majority of the fleet are racing two handed there is a good number solo entries for NINJOD and I to try and compete with.
NINJOD is currently out of the water at Fox's Marina, Ipswich. The mandatory jobs list for this winter currently includes:
Rudder Bearings - This job is currently underway. Using Jefa Bearings
Mast Replacement - Following on from the forestay incident a new mast is required. Selden are currently dealing with this. More news as I get it.
Hull Preparation - Would ideally like everything taken back and the Nautix sprayed
Port side solar panel replacement.
NKE Overhaul - checking versions of everything and replacing a dated unit.
Sail plan overhaul. Current thinking is new No 4, Storm jib and bigger Asym
In addition to the tasks above we have a number of admin and safety related items that need to be completed, these include:
Life raft Check/Replacement
First Aid Kit Update
RORC Re-weighing for 2011 endorsement
ISAF Cat 1 check against 2011 edition of special regulations.
From a personal prep perspective I realised that I was woefully physically unprepared for the last OSTAR, it was a big factor in my retirement and I was determined to do something about it. I hired the services of a personal trainer who I see 3 times a week, we do a lot of strength training. In July 2010 I started running and as of yesterday I have now covered exactly 200 miles. This regime will continue right up to the start of the race.
While NINJOD and I have already qualified for the race (Document available here) I still hope to put some solo miles in between March when she relaunches and the start of the race in June.