13 mars, 2009

Ledningen krymper men Ericsson 3 behåller ledningen

Ledningen har krympt det senaste dygnet för Ericsson 3 i den femte etappen av Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009. Nu leder den nordiska båten med cirka 150 Nm, men det återstår 3 700 Nm och en veckas segling så mycket kan fortfarande hända. De båda Ericsson båtarna seglar väldigt bra och snabbt. På tredje plats ligger Puma, som är 185 Nm efter Ericsson 3.

Här är den senaste pressreleasen från Race Office:

Leg Five Day 27 Daily Story: Pressure on, breeze down

Posted: 12 Mar 2009 08:05 AM PDT

As the front-runners pass through the second ice gate from the north and head south into dangerous waters and lighter winds, the leading boat Ericsson 3 is losing miles to its rivals. Ericsson 4 and PUMA are compressing behind the Nordic boat, as they navigate their way through the latest high pressure to slow their progress to Cape Horn.

Gustav Morin (media crew member) explained the pressure the crew is under to keep one step ahead. “We are working our guts out not to lose the lead we have been working so hard to get. Our navigator’s choice to go north and catch on to a low pressure after the first scoring-gate paid off and today we passed the ice-gate a couple of hours before the second and third boat. Unfortunately, being first to this gate does not give us any points and from here to the scoring-gate at Cape Horn it seems to be a bit of a restart.

“We wished we would be able to hang on to the low a bit longer and catch a weather system the others would not be able to reach. Being in another system is probably the only way to get a secure lead, if you are in the same system you can quickly loose a couple of hundred miles. Depressing for the one in the lead but fun and exciting for the ones following the race and a hint of hope for the ones trying to make gains from the back of the fleet. Unfortunately, we dropped out of the low and lost a lot of pace so the others have been able to make depressingly big gains on us.”

Ericsson 3 has lost 143 nm to the sistership Ericsson 4 in the past 24 hours as she creeps up in second place, with PUMA also losing five nm to the international crew.

Horacio Carabelli, (trimmer) onboard Ericsson 4, told today of the tactical decisions, which face the teams as they choose a route south, but for the moment they seem happy to follow the track of the leader. “We passed the second ice gate so another milestone done for us and now we are free to go where we want to the Horn,” said Carabelli. “The gamblers seem to be having some new chances as weather is not clearly defined until the famous Cape and several routes can be put into play now. Jules (Jules Salter – navigator) and Torben (Torben Grael – skipper) are scratching their heads as new opportunities arise for us.

“The Buzios (small stones used to guess the future in Brazil) have been thrown; let’s see what ends up in our hands for the next hours, days, weeks….”

After Green Dragon sighting of ice yesterday, the whole fleet will be keeping all eyes open for the dangerous icebergs. At least for the moment though Green Dragon can relax slightly as it heads to the ice gate to the north-east and away from the growlers to the south of the fleet. Telefonica Blue is also making its way east to the gate but is still negotiating the light winds in her path.

Telefonica Blue’s helmsman/ strategist Simon Fisher summed up perfectly the feeling onboard the Spanish boat, as they struggle to keep up with the fleet. “We had another slow night last night as we battle with this ridge of high pressure which is now separating us from the rest of the fleet and ruining our chances of catching up. However, we are all working hard to stay positive and keep ourselves entertained.

“The mood on board is pretty interesting to be honest, as we all swing between lamenting the desperate situation we are in and trying to stay positive and happy and keep moral up. The good thing is that most of the time we are laughing and the more we fall behind the more we seem to laugh at stupid stuff.” The blue boat is now 357 nm behind Green Dragon and has the lowest boat speed of all the boats at 13.7 knots.

Delta Lloyd has arrived in Rio de Janeiro to join Telefonica Black the Marina da Gloria and have resumed work on the Volvo Open 70.

Leg Five Day 27: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 4048 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +116
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) + 149
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +422
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +779

Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

Länk: www.volvooceanrace.org

Stu Bannatyne och Tony Mutter ombord Ericsson 4. Foto Guy Salter/EricssonRacingTeam.