BT Sport Relief Hell on High Seas – Day by Day with Ian Walker
Ian Walker Reveals Day 2 of the Sport Relief Challenge
In the second instalment of his #hellonhighseas blog post, Ian Walker talks to us about the crew’s decision to dock in Plymouth for the night as the crew face storm force 10 gales.
How is everyone faring after their second day on the boat?
Well, judging by the amount of snoring going on I would say everyone is very tired!! It will be interesting to see if anyone asks to leave today! It will still be pretty windy when we leave from here tonight. The guys and girls have done well but we have had a bit of sea sickness.
Which home comforts are the celebs missing the most?
Home comforts – well we don’t have enough sleeping bags for everyone and it is cold so I would think a few are missing their duvet! Most are saying proper food and their bed but Suzi is missing her cat.
How are you keeping team moral high?
The biggest thing that keeps our morale high is when we hear how much money has been raised for such a good cause. I think my decision to shelter from the storm in Plymouth was pretty popular too!
We hear gale force 9 and even storm force 10 are on the forecast, how are you getting everyone prepared for this?
Severe gale 9 or storm force 10 is no condition even for a Volvo 65 with fully pro crew. My only option was to look after everyone’s safety by sheltering for a few hours. It’s looking like a good call right now.
Exclusive: Ian Walker Reveals Day 1 of his Sport Relief Challenge
We caught up with Musto Ambassador Ian Walker after his first 12 hours at sea with the celebrity crew taking on the Hell on High Seas Sport Relief challenge. The team will be put through their paces over the next five days as they race around the UK in stormy conditions. So how have the team fared so far?
How do you take a novice and ensure that they are safe on a VO65?
Well we have 6 novices so the first priority is to keep them safe. We have set up a buddy system so that we can keep an eye on them and help to teach them. My buddy is Angellica Bell. Since leaving Belfast we have been practicing some basic manoeuvres like reefing so we are better prepared. We will have to be very conservative with our sail calls and sail changes so as not to get caught out. We are lucky that the first day has been light winds to get into the swing of things. I think the most important advice is to look after your kit. You must know where everything is at all times – especially at night!
What crucial pieces of advice have you given to the celebrities to get them accustomed to living on a racing boat (including the motion, watch systems and sleeping)?
The watch system is easy – you have your times and don’t be late on deck! The motion is something to get used to but the best advice if you get sick is to either be on deck or in your bunk – sitting around down below is the worst. As for sleeping – make sure you take some layers off and, when you are tired enough, you will sleep!
What has been the biggest trial of the challenge so far for both crew and team – is the boat feeling a bit crowded compared to Azzam?
Biggest trial – I think getting all the celebrities used to the kit they need to wear. Understanding the importance of layering and having an extra layer for night time. Other than that, the biggest difference is the fact that we have 15 people on board – it is like Piccadilly Circus down below!
What are the temperature and wind conditions currently? And which piece of Musto kit is proving the most handy for sailing the Irish Sea?
It is currently 6 degrees air temperature, 9 degrees water temperature and it is dusk. The most important bits of kit so far are the hats and gloves. I think that keeping hands and feet warm will be the biggest challenge!
Each crew member is fully kitted out in Musto kit to aid them in their challenge, this includes the HPX Pro Smock, HPX Pro Trousers, a selection of Ocean Boots, HPX Pro Drysuits, Extreme Thermal Tops, Extreme Thermal Trousers, Micro Fleece Beanies, Winter Gloves and of course, waterproof luggage.
Get involved in the challenge and donate to Sport Relief
Stay tuned for more updates from Ian as he helps the celebrities find their sea legs on board his Volvo Ocean 65.