14 april, 2009

Ericsson 4 på andra plats

Fältet med de sju båtarna i Volvo Ocean Race rör sig långsamt norrut och passerar ekvatorn inom ett par dagar. Telefónica Blue leder deltävlingen med Ericsson 4 på andra plats. Delta Lloyd ligger trea medan Ericsson 3 ligger på fjärde plats.

Sailing away from Rio along the Brazilian coast has been much more pleasant than the last stop we left (China). It was good to meet all the friends from Rio and Brazil and was good to see them on the water even with the big swell that was out there.
Det kommer troligen att vara ganska lugna vindar i ytterligare några dagar innan båtarna får mer vind och därmed högre fart. Nu ligger de mer eller mindre och bevakar varandra, väl samlade med sjunde och sista båt (Green Dragon) endast 36 Nm efter ledaren.

Följ tävlingen på: www.volvooceanrace.org

Här är de senaste pressreleaserna direkt från båtarna:

Ericsson 4 Leg Six Day 3 QFB: received 13.04.09 1600 GMT

Posted: 13 Apr 2009 08:00 AM PDT

Sailing away from Rio along the Brazilian coast has been much more pleasant than the last stop we left (China). It was good to meet all the friends from Rio and Brazil and was good to see them on the water even with the big swell that was out there.

We have been together with the pack of Telefónica Black, Puma and Ericsson 3 in sight the whole time, with not to much wind. Passing Cabo Frio we could still see Telefónica Blue catch a bit more wind later. Last time I was around this Cape it was blowing 25-30 knots, so quite a change since last time.

It’s quite impressive how the oil industry has grown around this area with big amounts of oil rigs and ships around. They look like cities when you see them at the distance at night. Probably, it was not a bad idea to buy some shares of Brazilian oil company some years ago.

Temperature has been rising as expected getting closer to the equator. Wildlife wise, a whole lot of dolphins were around us like crazy, jumping and going in all directions, probably feeding themselves. They paid a bit of attention to our yacht, but soon they went back to their fishing business.

That’s all for now.

Horacio Carabelli – trimmer

Telefónica Blue Leg Six Day 3 QFB: received 13.04.09 1526 GMT

Posted: 13 Apr 2009 07:26 AM PDT

It would be fair to say the mood onboard is of quiet concentration, everyone is focused on maintaining the lead we have managed to build so far ad are keen that we are always getting the best from the boat.

Although the wind has filled in somewhat and we are no longer drifting around, t is shifty and gusty meaning that we have to work hard to keep the boat in the groove. Tactically things are working out OK, it is merely speculation but it would seem the pack behind have been playing a little cat and mouse with each other forcing them to go lower and faster, which for now has played into our hands as we remain happy with our windward position on the fleet. It is now a case of making subtle changes to our course to defend our position and hopefully maximize the opportunities to extend when they present themselves.

On board life is good, the weather is good, the sun is shining and we are making good miles. Gabri (Gabriele Olivo MCM) has excelled himself once again on the food too, having given us an entirely new menu for this leg meaning that mealtimes include a bit of curiosity as to what is being cooked as opposed to relief or dread depending on whether it is something you like or not! It has been so far so good on that front too as all the new freeze dried meals have been well received thus far. With that said, it is time to take myself, and my once again full stomach to bed for a few hours of rest before the next sail change!


Simon Fisher – helmsman

PUMA Leg Six Day Three QFB: received 13.04.09 1507 GMT

Posted: 13 Apr 2009 07:07 AM PDT

The challenges of ocean sailing change every day. Nearly always an interesting new twist comes to play. The first couple of days of this journey have been no different.

First of all, we are going home. Back to Boston where Salma Hayek christened il mostro on a cold and blustery May night. Back to where the North American Headquarters for PUMA lies, right on the harbour front. Back to where I went to University – Boston University (who just won the National Championship in ice hockey I might add). A city which has helped mould my life, and I especially can’t wait to get back there.

But the journey doesn’t happen without its potholes, and I thought we were going to lose Sid for a while yesterday morning. Sidney Gavignet is a very passionate Frenchman who has a love for the sea and a love for competition. But like most of us he has a few superstitions and there is one in particular that is shared by nearly all of his French sailing counterparts.

They have a huge fear of little fuzzy hopping animals with long ears (I am not even allowed to say the name of this animal – that is how deep rooted the superstition is.)

As legend has it, the furry animals with long ears used to be taken aboard the old sailing ships alive and eaten in the old days, long before refrigeration or freeze-dried food. Live animals were carried then to eaten by the crew. The furry little animals with long ears supposedly had a different plan though. They would eat through the wooden hulls and sink the ships before they made it to the cooker, or made the boat made it to port. Since then the French have forbidden any sort of mention or likeness of the big-eared ship sinkers to be on any boat.

So, with the best of intentions, an unnamed fan made it onboard and put a chocolate Easter fuzzy animal with long ears in each of our storage pouches as a surprise – again with the best of intentions, of course. Sid didn’t see the humour. We believe he threw his overboard and asked if I would make sure that all were either eaten or immediately gotten rid of as soon as possible.

And sure enough we had a really bad day yesterday on the water. From the leg start out of Rio, we saw the three boats that were the farthest behind sail around us all, Telefónica Blue and Green Dragon along the shore and Delta Lloyd offshore. The pack of Telefónica Black, the two Ericsson’s and us stuck in the windless middle trying desperately to get to an edge.

Now we are in a drag race to Fernando and the all-important scoring gate. We are minus all fuzzy and long eared chocolate Easter treats and we appear to be doing better because of it. We aren’t talking about that superstition any more – after this note of course, because yesterday it was pretty valid in my books. We checked for holes and are good on that front. Now to make up for lost time and distance.

Kenny Read – skipper

Leg Six Day 3 Daily Story: Settling Down To The Job At Hand

Posted: 13 Apr 2009 06:35 AM PDT

For once, the seven-strong Volvo fleet is heading straight towards the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha at speeds that feel fast, at least when compared with the drifting conditions and horrible rolling swell of the first 36 hours.

The fleet has reached the southeast trade winds and speeds are up to a staggering 14 knots. “Fourteen knots seems like potential passing out/nose bleed speed, similar to the first few days that Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ hit the track,’” says Ericsson 4’s MCM Guy Salter.

Telefónica Blue has pulled out a healthy lead of 13 nautical miles, but tracking her is Delta Lloyd in second place, and this team is on fire. Their strategy was to split leg six up and tackle it as several different races. Race one, from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Frio – is now accomplished, and now race two is in play, starting from Cape Frio and finishing at the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha, some 1016 nm further up the track.

“Speed, speed, speed is our goal to the race two finish line. No big moves to be made, just focus on boat speed,” says Wouter Verbraak who is now back in the navigator’s slot after a stint on Green Dragon for leg five and originally starting this race as Team Russia’s navigator. He adds that the mood onboard the boat is great as the team continues to tick off the miles.

“Day three is always a huge improvement from days one and two. Everybody has had a chance to catch up with lost sleep, meals are defining the rhythm of the day and even coffees are being made for the next watch,” Wouter says.

The fleet has split in to two groups. The inshore pack comprises Ericsson 4 in third place 16 nm behind Telefónica Blue and sistership Ericsson 3 in fourth place. Their long-term friend, PUMA is in this group as well as Telefónica Black. Just four miles separate them and Guy Salter says that Telefónica Black, PUMA and Ericsson 3 are all visible off their leeward port corner.

Offshore are Telefónica Blue, Delta Lloyd, and, furthest east, Green Dragon, in seventh place. Delta Lloyd has posted the best 24-hour run at 260 nm, an unimpressively slow start to this leg. Telefónica Blue is 62 nm off Rio Doce on the coast of Brazil, and 730 nm from Recife.

In his TEN ZULU report this morning, Mark Chisnell indicated that as the fleet sails on the northern fringe of the South Atlantic High and battles the Brazil Current, there will be potholes, and he suspects that out on the water, there will be gains and losses.

“That is not to discount the importance of boat speed over the next five days. If Telefónica Blue has got it in the tank, this is an absolutely crucial time for Bouwe Bekking to show us,” he wrote.

Read today’s bumper edition of TEN ZULU here: http://www.volvooceanrace.org/news/article/2009/April/TEN-ZULU-L6-D3/index.aspx .

Leg Six Day 3: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

1. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTF 4554 nm
2. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +13
3. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +16
4. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +17
5. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +8
6. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +7
7. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +2
8. Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS