27 november, 2008

Terrorister får Volvo Ocean Race att skärpa säkerheten

Ericsson 4 leder flottan av Volvo Ocean Race båtarna på väg mot Indien. Cirka 600 Nm återstår nu och de första båtarna bör komma till Indien inom 1-2 dygn. Organisatörerna av Volvo Ocean Race har dock tvingats se över säkerheten efter det senaste dygnets terroristattacker med bomber i Mumbai.

Cochin, dit båtarna är på väg, ligger cirka 100 svenska mil från Mumbai. Men organisatörerna vill ändå försäkra sig om att arrangemanget kan genomföras på det säkraste sättet. Nyhetsmässigt viktiga händelser, som till exempel Volvo Ocean Race, kan vara en riskfaktor för attacker från terrorister.

Totalt omfattar organisationen inom Volvo Ocean Race cirka 400 personer, som alla har informerats om vilka mått och steg som bör vidtas.

Här är det allra färskaste E-mailet från deltagarna:

GREEN DRAGON LEG TWO DAY 13 QFB: received 27.11.08 0842 GMT

At first light this morning, we came through a massive raincloud and poked our nose into a north-westerly breeze. This was the sign we were waiting for that we were exiting the doldrums for the second time this race. Fortunately, we seem to be quite good at getting through the doldrums, as we have climbed up the leaderboard to third.

It was an agonising 150 or so miles, where flat calms were interspersed with rainsqualls and wind from every part of the compass. We had two shocking clouds that stopped us in our track, but nothing compared with the hole, which engulfed Puma about 10 miles from us. We managed to just skirt it by 100 metres or so and gained about 15 miles in 2 hours – there was nothing Puma could do as a huge cell grew above them and stopped them dead.

We did have our bad moments – not least when I was steering and got caught in a downdraught under one cloud. It is the first time I have gone full circle in a boat without tacking or gybing – all in 20 knots as the lads furled the code zero. It culminated in us being stuck head to wind with our soon-to-be patented ‘multiple bridle no boom mainsheet system’ pinned in the middle and a spinnaker sheet wrapped around the rudder! 1 hour later the rain cleared the wind came back and we got going again – not very good.

So here we are, now in a drag race with Telefónica Blue, who somehow managed to escape the wider doldrums in the west, Ericsson 3 who must look at how Ericsson 4 got away in disgust, and Delta Lloyd who we can see about 10 miles behind. Their crew changes seem to be working wonders as they are doing a great job. It is certainly still a fast boat.

Looking at the weather forecast there could be all sorts of fun and games to be had in the 735 miles to go and I wouldn’t rule out anybody just now. For us we are really happy to be in a boat race after 10 days without a boom. It is funny that nobody seems to mention it anymore apart from the odd wise crack like ‘ease the vang’ or ‘pull on the outhaul’. Oh how we laugh….

Ian Walker – skipper

Bilden: Hamnen i Cochin.