19 februari, 2009

Se filmen! – Ericsson 4 ökade försprånget

Ericsson 4 har det senaste dygnet lyckats utöka sin ledning i Volvo Ocean Race etapp till Rio de Janeiro med några sjömil. På onsdagsmorgonen var ledningen över tvåan i tävlingen, amerikanska Puma, 13 Nm.

Ericsson Racing Teams internationella besättning fortsätter dock att kämpa för att behålla ledningen och vinna Leg 5. De båda tätbåtarna bevakar dock varandra och släpper inte varandra ur sikte.

Här är den senaste pressreleasen från Ericsson Racing Team:

As if stuck together by bungee cord, Ericsson 4 stretches out a bit before Puma reels in the lost miles. This has played out over the past three days, since the conditions have abated from the full-on blow the first two nights of the leg bound for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At today’s 1300 report, Ericsson 4 led Puma by 4 nautical miles. Ericsson 4 was about 24 nautical miles east of Puma as they made a course due southeast to the east of the northern Mariana Trench.

The International crew’s lead is down from a peak of 9 miles at the 0408 report, but still better than the even pacing the two were recorded as at last night’s 1918 report.

“Racing-wise, things are going really well,” said Ryan Godfrey, bowman aboard Ericsson 4. “The boat loves these reaching conditions and with every sched we gradually build our lead over the chasing Il Mostro.”

As the leaders cross the 20th parallel, the conditions have warmed considerably from the first two nights. The leaders are still anticipating reaching the northeasterly trade winds tomorrow or the day after, but in the meantime they’re taking an opportunity to pack away some of the cold-weather gear for awhile, until they dive into the Southern Ocean.

“Dry-out time aboard today,” said Godfrey. “The temperature has really made a change for the better and this afternoon has been a great opportunity to pack up the double layer sleeping bags and mattresses. It’s also been nice to see all the condensation moisture that forms throughout the boat start to evaporate away.”

Life is similarly pleasant aboard Ericsson 3, which has been at sea for all of the past seven days, save for two hours, after departing Taiwan to complete Leg 4.

Firmly entrenched in third place, Ericsson 3 was pacing 142 nautical miles behind the fleet leader. The Nordic crew has welcomed the two newcomers with jokes and tales.

“There is good mood among the guys,” said media crewman Gustav Morin. “Everyone is joking, telling stories and laughing while we are trying to make the boat go as fast as possible.”

Newcomers Arve Roaas and Magnus Woxen are race veterans, but Roaas has never sailed the VO 70 before. Woxen did the last race as a member of Ericsson Racing Team.

“The VO 70s are better in every way,” said Roaas. “They’re a lot quicker and actually a bit drier, under deck that is. And if the swing keel system is as reliable as I hear it is, it’s a lot better than the water ballast system.”

(Feb. 18, 2009, 1321 GMT)
1. Ericsson 4, +10,886 nautical miles to finish
2. Puma, +4 NM
3. Ericsson 3, +142 NM
4. Green Dragon, +207 NM
5. Telefónica Blue, +284 NM

Här är en vodcast (video) från Chris Bedford, Ericsson Racing Teams meteorolog: