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Boat Blogs from Day 19, Leg 1 Volvo Ocean Race

by Various Volvo Ocean Race Competitorsm on 30 Oct 2008
Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/At 1310 GMT 29/1008, Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA) obliterated the 24-hour record run for a monohull when the team recorded a run of 602 nautical miles. Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com

Boat Blogs from Day 19, Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Cape Town.

ERICSSON 4 LEG ONE DAY 19 QFB: received 29.10.08 2113 GMT

What a day!

It’s not every day you get to have a ride as we have had over the past day or so, and to get a new 24 hour record has been superb, but the reality of that feat out here hasnt really sunk in. We know we have a record but what is more on the fella's minds is getting to Cape Town and hopefully at the front of the pack, avoiding damage to ourselves and the yacht.

All the boys look really drained - sleep is not the easiest on E4, I can only describe the motion as I would imagine re-entry on the Space shuttle is like. Everything is bouncing - including every cell in our bodies and the mundane tasks are near impossible.

On deck the boat is surrounded in a ball of spray. I wonder how we don’t show signs of secondary drowning. The waves arrive very frequently and hard. Everyone is clipped on but you still need to brace and hold on tight. Tere is tons of water passing over deck every minute, sometimes knee-deep as it pours over and back from where it came. Your eyes sting and become red from the salt water, or you wear a helmet or visor, these help but don’t cure.

Down below is harder, so your best off in the bunk, for your own safety and some well earned rest. The boat is screaming from the speed - and loud. I’m sure that there would be something in the laws of combat about this sound torture - ear plugs are essential, but your ears still ring.

Cooking is nearly impossible but important, it would make a great test in the 'Generation Game' tv show. You have to traverse around the boat using as many points of contact as possible - the saying 'one hand for you, one hand for the boat' kind of goes out of the window as you need at least 2 hands for yourself. I find myself walking around in full primate fashion, with my arms swinging above my head in Gibbon style - I guess this is why being from the Isle Of Wight (island situated off the south coast of UK) has its advantages - after all we only came down from the trees in 1976!

The thought of our loved ones, some good food and maybe a beer pushes us closer to the finish line.

Guy Salter - MCM
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TELEFÓNICA BLACK LEG ONE DAY 19 QFB: received 29.10.08 1252 GMT

As you may know, the news of the day has been the 24-hour new record established by Ericsson 4. Congratulations from Telefónica Black! Good boat good sailors! The truth is that the conditions were prone to that. It has been a hard night, with rough seas and winds which exceeded 40 knots. In a pitch dark night, imagine the conditions to steer!

Anyway, here in Telefónica Black we have been dealing with a couple of sails ripped, which has made the night even tougher. Life on board stays with its routine, considering the difficulties of trying to make tea in a roller coaster in the rain!

We have seen the first albatross, traditionally considered a good omen. Let's see what happens, but for the moment... What is true is that he is a magic bird, the way he flies, without moving a single feather, effortless...amazing!

Well, we have at least 24 more hours in these conditions, let's see what happens.

More tomorrow

Mikel Pasabant - MCM


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TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG ONE DAY 19 QFB: received 29 October 0805GMT

It's been a tough 24 hours since the breeze arrived here on Telefónica Blue. To say this thing is a bit of a handful in the breeze would be a major understatement. If Ringo Starr wanted some new inspiration for another Submarine song, it's right here.

We have been way too close to the edge too early and consequently had to throttle back whilst watching the leaders streaking of into the sunset with a new 24 hour record. Whilst I think we would be a serious contender for the most water over the deck in the last 24 hours, it comes as little consolation. Having to watch the hard-fought miles slowly ebb away really hurts.

Each position report has had the same frustrating story - more lost miles to the leaders. However at the same time it has been hard not to smile a little when you see the pace that Ericsson 4 has laid down. Deeply, deeply impressive to say the least. It is a shame to see our old record from ABN AMRO TWO go, but at the same time these things are made to be broken and those boys are certainly doing it with style.

As for us the battle goes on, the guys on deck are doing a good job of trying to tame the beast in seriously difficult conditions and we are still fighting for every mile as we will continue to do so until we get across the finish.

Cheers,

Si Fi

Simon Fisher - navigator
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From GREEN DRAGON

Hats off to Ericsson 4 for a storming 24 hours. By my calculations they can't be far off 600 miles. We have just about been able to match them when we have had a steady 3 hours, but sail changes, reefing and backing off at night has kept our 24 hour mileage in check.

We must be somewhere near the old record, but nobody will speak of that anymore. More importantly we have been able thus far to stay ahead of the front, but we have had to head further north than we would like to.

We are starting to see the effect of 'stepping off the train' on Delta Lloyd and Team Russia and we want to delay that as long as we can. Sooner or later it will happen to us, but the faster we go the later it will be. We are now directly east of our closest competitors for 3rd place so they should suffer first.

Life on deck is very wet and the occasional nosedives have meant a few bangs and bruises. Everyone is bearing up well but tonight will be a long night. God only knows how the boat puts up with the stresses we put on it but apart from the usual disintegration of the head we are in good shape.

Received 14:33 GMT


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