Green Dragon leads Volvo fleet
by Into the blue Media on 15 Oct 2008
After nearly 1000 miles at sea Green Dragon has taken pole position of the eight boat fleet. They have extended a small 6 mile lead over Ericsson 4 with the rest of the pack close behind. The next 24 hours will prove challenging, as each navigator chooses their route south through the Canary Islands.
Update from Green Dragon Navigator Ian Moore
Green Dragon - trying to pick the best route to go the Canary islands © David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.com/
It is day 4 according to the food bag we opened today and I can't decide whether it feels more or less than that. After a frantic first 48 hours when Ian Walker and I managed only a few hours sleep between us things have settled down into more of a routine. The weather every six hours gives me something to look forward to, as I wrestle with the contraption called the 'media station'. This allows me to get online and download two zip files with all the weather information that we are allowed.
In theory under ideal conditions in an office in Swindon, this takes about 20 minutes but it really depends on what new trick the 'media station' is going to play on us. Finally you manage to get the data out and look at it, and I'm guessing that all the other navigators have the same issues because as soon as we got the data this morning we decided to gybe. PUMA's media station must be working slightly better because they gybed about 15 minutes before us…
I guess we are doing ok as after nearly 1000 miles of racing, and it feels good to take pole position. We have tweaked out a small lead over Ericsson 4, but I am still worried about our reaching performance against the boats with maximum keel weight. The Canary islands are looming and we will all have to make some tough decisions. The options are whether to risk passing through the islands and getting stuck in the light airs behind, or commit to one of the longer passages round the end of the island chain. I guess we will see tomorrow what boats go where and who has made the right call.
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