Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ready to roll - part two

One of the great things the regatta organisers have done at the Louis Vuitton Trophy is to assign bicycles to all of the teams. It suddenly puts the city within reach and cuts down on the commute time from the team hotels and apartments.

In the case of BMW ORACLE Racing, that turns what would be a 20-minute walk at a brisk pace, into a 5-minute bike ride. And those 15 minutes are important when the team is meeting at the boat at 07:00 to take advantage of early morning winds.

(The view from Eze)

The bikes themselves are heavy - they need to be sturdy as commuter bikes. After all, they're meant for short rides in the city. Well, nobody told that to our guys apparently.

With a day off, some of the guys decided a bike ride to Monaco - about 20 kilometres away - was in order.

"Smitty (Alan Smith - NZL), Meat (Andrew Taylor - NZL), Flipper (Paul Westlake - AUS), Salty (Rob Salthouse - NZL) and myself rode to Monaco and then up to √ąze (a mountain village about 500 metres above sea level) on the bikes," said Hamish Willcox (NZL).

"The funniest part was catching and passing a serious local rider on his fully equipped road bike, decked out in all his cycling kit. He didn't seem amused when we went by on our machines."

The guys will be back on a more familiar race course on the Bay of Angels on Thursday when racing is scheduled to resume. We're up against Team French Spirit.