Volvo Ocean Race - A vicious and smelly circle

Craig Satterthwaite clearing the salt from his face onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Volvo Ocean Race,leg 2 and things are getting smellier aboard the boats. Have you ever fancied dousing some tabasco sauce across you’re your décolletage to improve your scent? This may sound disgusting but, it is the point of desperation whiffy sailors have now come to after eleven sweaty days at sea.

Almost every concoction, chemical and fluid on board has been considered as some kind of means to eliminate the manly odour that is emanating from the sailors’ suffocated pores with an almost visible waft. Sure, baby-wipes and deodorant are helpful, but they are no match for the funk of eleven men confined inside a Volvo Open 70 without a shower, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Media Crew Member Nick Dana said.

'One pungent smell compounded by another strong aroma often creates a super smell that can make your eyes water, or in some cases make you just flat-out cry,’’ Dana said.

The opportunity to open the hatch and let some much needed fresh air inside the cabin has been somewhat limited Dana said, as the team have been forced to put a mesh curtain across the opening to stop water from washing inside. 'We trap the mank of eleven men, eleven sets of wet foul weather gear, and at least eleven portions of freeze dried food that no one will touch due to the surrounding stench,’’ he said.

At the same time the team are nearing the equator, temperatures are soaring and the stench is gaining a life of its own. The increasing problem has led several team members to explore their options.

Watch leader Craig Satterthwaite has gone for a simple solution. 'I use about a half bottle of baby powder for fast effective relief,' he said. But his team mates have shaken their head in disapproval.

Bowman Wade Morgan suggested the team accept the odour. 'I just embrace my sweet smell, it’s easier to come to terms with it than it is to fight it,’’ he said.

Perhaps the most curious of considerations documented by Dana was that of, also known as Junior. 'I even noticed Junior one day smelling himself, then smelling the Tabasco sauce, smelling himself again, and then staring at the Tabasco sauce with a very deranged look,’’ he noted.

As for Dana, well he says he has succumbed to the inevitable. 'It’s a never ending battle, but a losing one if you ask me,’’ he said. 'In fact, when you think about it, the harder you work to combat it, the more you probably perspire and in turn stink!'

It’s a vicious, and very smelly, circle.

Volvo Ocean Race website