The boat «Esmeralda» of the Russian participant of the non-stop round-the-world Golden Globe Race singles regatta Igor Zaretsky in the suburbs of the Australian port Albany was finally cleaned from sea ducks, a thick layer grown on the bottom. Now it has to be coated with a primer and two coats of waterproofing which have already been delivered to the place of repair.
During a small live video broadcast on 12 and 13 December in the official Zaretsky's travel support group on Facebook, the captain talked about how the decision to stop in Australia was made, as well as his future plans for the regatta.
«There were two reasons: fouling and, first of all, breakage of the staff. I had to make a repair version from the remains of the tripod, make my own lights, climb the mast where I worked for over four hours. I was not 100% sure if my rig would hold. I didn't increase the sails - I was afraid for the boom. Going into the Pacific with that boom and that repair option on top of the mast would not have been prudent.
I won't say that this decision was made within a day or two. From the middle of the Indian Ocean I was figuring out the odds, figuring out the speed of the boat. Everything threatened that I would end up off Cape Horn in the late fall, which is not an option. Of course, switching to the Chichester class was a difficult decision, but there are other things that are much more important than the result, participating in one class or the other.
I probably won't be able to tell you after the finish line that I felt I had a "bucket" strapped to me. And not a small one. I had enough patience to make it to Albany. But honestly, the psychological blow was pretty decent. I'm not saying that I gave up, but I had to do some autotraining for a while.
But when I saw the boat in the air, when I saw what was underneath, all my doubts disappeared completely. I did the sensible thing. When the boat was lifted out of the water, I heard some words, in pure Australian, identical with our vernacular, expressing extreme surprise.
I'd never seen a boat go before, so frayed. It became clear why at 20 knots I was doing 3 knots, why the auto-rudder was hard to work: the rudder blade axle was full of these clams. They have a base like sealant, like a thick resin. The propeller was also all (the shaft itself and the bearing) overgrown.
We spent half a day just cutting these clams off. And it was standing on the hard ground. I had an idea to go down to one French islet, to clean it with a knife, like some of my competitors. But it wasn't the knife that was needed. It needed such a cleaver!
Now, as for plans: as soon as I can, I'll be out there. I hope that in a couple of days the boat will be covered with soil and antifoulings. I really liked the town and the locals who came out to help clear the boat of "passengers". But I need to get out into the ocean as early as possible. And I will do anything to shorten my stay in Albany.
Speaking of Russians in Australia. Vitaly flew in from the east coast. All these days he's been helping out, bringing tools...
You know, a long forgotten feeling of faith in people comes back. You understand that there is another world except our TV world.
Normal people, always ready to help».
One viewer of the broadcast asked Zaretsky if he was thinking about ending his participation in GGR early.
«There is a natural and always justifiable rule: fight to the end," replied the yachtsman. - Because, look at what we see throughout the race - anything can happen at any time! Could happen to me, could happen to my competitors. So until you see the entrance buoy at Le Sables d'Olonne, you can't stop fighting.
That doesn't mean I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to my opponents. Not at all. It's a very unpleasant experience when you get messages that someone is upside down, that someone has a broken mast, that someone is in colossal trouble. These things have nothing to do with sporting excitement. A race... Not even a race - the ocean - can dissolve so... At any moment everything can turn upside down».