To begin, I hope you are all doing well and staying safe inside. As we live through these extraordinary times I wanted to share some thoughts and some updates on life and race prep in general. 

The recent month has been extremely stressful for me with the whole coronavirus situation, being away from home, preparation for the sale of the house and planning for the summer of sailing or whatever is left of it. I will start addressing them one by one in the following paragraphs. 

Covid-19

The most stressful part of this situation is about being away from my parents. My father is in an extremely vulnerable group with a past history of lung illnesses and being above the age of 60. My mother recently had surgery on her shoulder for a ligament tear and she has to travel every day to the physio during her recovery. The other part of my worry is the careless manner in which the local population of Canada has been going about it. I frequently see many young cashiers and counter staff at grocery stores not using proper protection and I see far too many cars on the road during this time. 

The other issue Covid-19 has created is that it has delayed the summer. If all was normal I would have my bottom ready and then be busy installing my engine to move the boat to Port Credit Yacht Club by now. 

More importantly, I am disturbed by the way the privileged world and our political establishment is reacting to the entire situation. Some of us more privileged folk have it easy being able to discuss boats and fancy recipes during this lock-down. We have the internet with Netflix and everything else to keep us busy during this time. Unfortunately, our grotesque show of insensitivity does not account for the fact that a lot of people right now are wondering if they will even have the money to put food on the table and many are contemplating death. I think it’s our behaviour during these times that will set the tone for our relationships after this crisis has gone past us. For me, I am taking extreme steps and I will purge anyone from my list who engages in behaviour that is distasteful during this period. 

I hope some of us who are more privileged are able to find ways to give back during this period. Do whatever is possible for you to help someone else out because if we rely on politicians and big corporations to do that for us, we will lose many more people than we expect to lose in this pandemic. 

Summer Prep for the boat 

The chores for the boat are the following list: 

  1. Sand the bottom to prep for bottom paint

  2. Put on bottom paint 

  3. Prep deck for getting Raptor Deck non-skid 

  4. New Mast 

  5. New running rigging

  6. New sails 

All others seem normal but I am sure that a new mast might be a surprise to many. My mast is in pretty good shape and would have surely gone round the world in the Golden Globe Race. 

I found a spar maker that made the spar for me at a very good discount. It’s beefier than my present mast and also has a discontinuous rig like the one JLVDH had on his boat and the other competitors had too. Although I am not going the JLVDH route and keeping the mast at the same height as my present mast. The mast is a bit lighter than my present mast so it’s all going to be good to keep the boat from being too tender. 

A video by Don Mcintyre and 2022 competitor Robin Davies on Robin’s/JLVDH’s GGR mast.

For the bottom paint, I am debating three different systems that would help keep the bottom clean during the race. The one I am leaning towards does not require the epoxy barrier coating before painting and requires only two coats of the paint. Not only would this be lighter but also less work if I have to replace it before the race. My plan is to get one coat now and sand it down again two months before the race in 2022 and then apply a new coat. The weeks between the new coats and the race start would be a good time to evaluate the effectiveness of the coat. 

I have decided to go with Raptor Deck for my deck instead of non-skid paint or faux teak. I know I had many individuals comment when I said I would apply a faux teak that I am racing and I should just keep a non skid paint. I respectfully disagree, I think the Raptor Deck non-skid will be a great addition to the deck and it will save me the pain of painting that deck after I have repaired the core of the deck. I have sailed with their decking on the Melges 24 and found them to give very good grip. I am not sponsored and I am paying them the full price for the non-skid deck. 

The new running rigging is coming from Cajun Ropes in Nova Scotia, Canada. Again, not sponsored. They are a small business and these trying times, what better than to support a small business instead of going to a big rope supplier? Again, not sponsored!

The new sails are just sails I found used but in great condition. I will keep up on these sails till the end of 2021 and purchase new ones for the race. I have not yet decided on the sail maker for the race but it will surely be on the local Toronto sail makers. These times have highlighted to me the importance of supporting your local shops and building a community around you that will take me to the start line and hence the finish line. 

Re-branding

As I have often said that I am trying my best to keep the campaign self funded and remain a Corinthian entry. In that direction, I will be re-branding the entire campaign all over again so that it can support a charitable cause and create a larger organization that helps people who need it. There is going to be a fund created for helping out underprivileged children to be able to access sailing to build character that would set them on a path to success in life as sailing has helped me. This re-branding will probably be declared in 2021 as right now my focus is on other situations that need my attention. 

In conclusion, I hope this passes soon and we are able to get back to normal life and people who need their jobs more than ever are able to get back in the workforce. I look forward to being able to sail the Lake Ontario 600 single handed this year. And as always my focus is singularly on winning the 2022 Golden Globe Race and that is what I think about every moment of my life now. 

3 Responses

  1. Go Gaurav. I was there at La Sab. , at the start of GGR 2018. Hopefully will be there at 2022 start to see you off. Wish I could do it. All the best. Syed Hassan

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