Genoa – Cascais with the VO65 SiSi

I have been part of the Holland Ocean Race Team for over a year now. I combine this with my training and Racing in the Waszp (see Waszp European Championship in Italy) and final exam Havo (which I have now passed). 
It is quite a bit of planning to fulfill my obligations at HOR and also to train enough hours in my Waszp. Due to COVID, I (and many with me) had only a few opportunities to gain BIG boat experience in the past year. Instead I did a lot of boat work and got my RYA First Aid, RYA VHF/SRC and RYA/ISAF Offshore Certifications. 

This summer there was the European Championship Waszp in Italy, had to make choices, so I couldn’t join the Fastnet Race with my Offshore team. So when Gerwin Janssen (Sailing Team Lead, Austrian Ocean Race Project) indicated that there was a spot for me on the VO65 Sisi for a delivery from Genoa Italy to Cascais Portugal, I didn’t think twice, this was a great opportunity for me to gain more experience. 
Asked permission to my Offshore coach Hans Bouscholte at Holland Ocean Racing and signed up.
I had no idea who the other crew member were. What counted for me was that I was allowed to join this delivery. The only condition from my parents was that one of them would fly with me to Genoa. Wouldn’t have been necessary for me, but it was nice to travel again. 

On Tuesday 13th July this opportunity came along, discussed with my parents on Wednesday 14th, booked a flight on Thursday 15th and flying early Friday morning the 16th. If you want to seize opportunities, you have to be flexible and creative. My father eventually flew with me to Genoa.
When we arrived in Genoa, it turned out that 2 more Dutch were traveling with us; Floris Lampe from Team Rost (who I know from the Optimist period) and Daniël Bramervaer (Coach of the National Dutch Nacra 15 team) and of course Oliver Kobale (Boat captain) who was the skipper this week. In total the crew consisted of 3 Dutch and 4 Austrians. We left Genoa on Saturday 17 July. I was on the Dutch watch with Floris and Daniël.  We left immediately with a nice wind and set course towards Ibiza.

We run a 4 hours watch. My watch was from 6am to 10am, 2pm to 6pm and from 10pm to 2am. There was actually no watch that I didn’t like. All were different, the rising and setting of the sun is beautiful, but the night certainly has something too. Unfortunately, the wind below Ibiza dropped and the speed went down considerably. Because there were only 3 of us on watch, I did all kinds of things: main, helm, deck… Still, I like helm the most. Cruising the Strait of Gibraltar was an amazing experience. All in all a great experience and thankful for this great opportunity to gain Big Boat experience for me.