Simply competing against the other boats to see who can make the most progress to Lahaina each day isn't enough. Each watch competes against the other to see which one can travel the furthest distance. So far, the tally is 256 for Black Watch and 267 for Top Gun. Then each watch competes to see who can set the top instantaneous boat speed while driving (so far it is Don at 17.4 knots on Black Watch). This friendly competition will happen for every watch until we cross the finish line in Lahaina. This is a great way to help keep everyone focused on making the boat go fast at all times and to build team spirit. Finally, each watch also competes within their own watch to see who can set the fastest instantaneous speed. Everyone cheers when a new top speed is set.
It should be noted, however, for those of you who will eventually hear varying opinions about which watch was the best one on Team String Theory, it is pretty clear already that Gunnar (our navigator who is on the Pop-Gun Watch) sets a faster course for his team than for the Black Watch. The course difference is subtle - and Gunnar claims that this isn't the case - but Black Watch knows better. So for any future long distance sailors out there, the lesson learned here is make sure you end up on the navigator's watch.....
Other daily routines that occur both during and off watch include running the diesel twice a day for one to two hours to charge the house batteries, running the water maker, checking the boat's rigging and lines for signs of wear or chaffing, fixing or troubleshooting for problems that pop up along the way (such as tightening the steering cable, investigating the new squeak coming from the rudder column, troubleshooting the water maker, repairing damaged rigging and lines, sail checks, etc.) general housekeeping chores, and the list goes on. It might seem surprising that so much needs to be done to keep the boat running safely over a two week period but one Vic-Maui is the equivalent of 10 years of sailing within coastal BC so 10 years of wear and tear is condensed into a two week period...
The 17:00 Roll Call is another very important daily routine as it is the one and only time each day that each race boat (all divisions), must report in their location and local weather conditions to the race committee. The race
committee compiles all of this information and emails the updates to all boats before 18:00. Gunnar will plug this information into his tracking spreadsheet to determine where the race boats are with respect to our position (particularly for the boats in our division) and provide all of us an update on any of the watch changes. There are a few boats that have access to Yellowbrick so they receive automatic updates more often but these boats are by far the exception (data via satellite is not cheap).
So in summary, it may seem like there wouldn't be much to do from day to day on a long distance sailing trip such as this one but surprisingly there's always something that needs to be done.
Signed: Becalmed Admits Numerous Anachronisms Never Agrees. Better Really Eat And Drink.