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Volvo Ocean Race Boat Blogs - Day 4

by Various VOR Competitors on 15 Oct 2008
Gustav Morin/Ericsson Racing Team/Volvo Ocean Race - Ericsson 3 heads away from Gibraltar at night, on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com

Day 4 boat Emails from various competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1 to Capetown.

TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG ONE DAY 4 QFB: received 14.10.09.20 GMT

We have done reasonably well in the last 24 hours and slowly been closing in on the boats nearest to us. That is giving us a big boost for our moral, which of course had suffered a little set back, better said it was like getting a right hand hook of a boxer.

We did lots of sail changes and just trying to press anything out of the boat. Sifi (navigator Simon Fisher) and I are spending heaps of time behind the computer and looking into all the options. We don't want to do anything crazy. Once you are behind, you are tempted to take bigger risks, but we are happy with any small cookie we can get.

In the last report the ruskies were only 12 miles ahead of us, and now we can clearly see them, makes me wonder if they blew out their big masthead spinnaker on the first night out, as the rate we are closing in on them is too fast.

In the meantime Gabry (Gabriele Olivo), our media man, is tearing his hair out, since there is software problem for zipping up the video footage to be sent, which of course is not motivating for him. Hopefully he will win that battle, not only for him, but so that the public can follow our progress. One thing for sure he will win the golden pillow award, as once the sun goes down, there is nothing to do for him than to go to his bunk, and stretch his back. For sure it would never be a job for me.

Cheers,

Bouwe
(Bouwe Bekking – skipper)


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ERICSSON 4 LEG ONE DAY 4 QFB: received 14.10.08 09:43 GMT

We have had a busy night with finally some ‘almost trade winds’ starting to push the fleet along. We gybed several times in the night and as a lot of you know, we have to shift the stack (sails\equipment weighing 1.5 tons) from side to side so it was a little disruptive of our bunk times.

This morning I watched Phil Jameson have his porridge with a lot of Tabasco hot sauce. This was a first for me in 4 Volvo's. I commented to him at the time about sending him back to his wife in Cape Town with strange new habits when I realised I had just eaten a pack of 2 minute noodles - dry. Arh!!! Also a first!

Sleep deprivation. It's got to be good for you. Currently my watch mate Horacio (Carabelli) is colouring in Phil’s nails while he is asleep (pics to come). Enough, back to my bunk...............
Cheers,

Tony Mutter - trimmer.

MCM's Note: Yes Horacio has definitely coloured Phil’s fingernails in with a black permanent marker pen - knowing his victim as I do, I sense that the 'tomfoolery' wars may have just started. Could be an interesting equator crossing! I’ll probably wake up tomorrow with a black moustache and glasses, but won’t know as we don’t have a mirror - Just hope the moustache is either a nice twirly (1920s bad guy style) or a big bushy one!

All well - for now.....

Guy Salter - MCM


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ERICSSON 3 LEG ONE DAY 4 QFB: received 14.10.08 03:25 GMT

Yesterday was quite disappointing, only covering 130 nautical miles in 24 hours. Of course we have covered more ground, but it has mostly been in a direction far off the course to Fernando de Noronha, or drifting backwards as we did for hours in the Strait of Gibraltar. We parked completely in the Strait, with no wind and plenty of 1-3 knots current against us just as we arrived there. Our track for this period is a comedy to look at. And of course the rest of the fleet had a bit of breeze and came right up to us, and in the end managed to squeeze just past us.

In the difficult breeze I was really frustrated as I could not get the weather data downloaded, but the system worked again after one of the guys gave the dome a good old kick. I assume the other boats have had some issues as well, so it is probably not that bad.

But plenty of positives as well! Everyone is really enjoying the racing, and giving their maximum effort to take us as fast forward as we can. People are more social now after getting a bit of sleep in the light airs, and the betting for our Cape Town ETA is on.

Since yesterday night we have been close to Puma, Telefónica Negro and Green Dragon. No one seemed very interested in splitting from the group until the Green Dragons gybed away to the south yesterday afternoon.

We are not into gambling at this stage as the potential losses in such light air areas are huge, so we stayed with Puma and Telefónica Black, just behind them.

At one stage we decided to use some of our luck account, and found a private cloud that gave us a couple of miles gain on Puma. They came back and passed us later though. And we passed Telefónica Negro a few boat lengths to weather a couple of hours ago. I assume they were not happy about it, so we stayed a bit high since to discourage any passing attempts. When we decided to gybe south later, they gybed on us and we needed another two gybes to shake them free.

No time to rest for the navigators yet, as we are currently making the big choices for the Northern Atlantic. We need to decide on whether to go west of the Canary Islands to get the shift in wind direction, or closer to Africa to look for pressure if there is any. That might involve going between the islands, which provides for interesting navigation with local wind accelerations and risky wind shadows. We also watch the development in the Doldrums, which we will enter in five days time.

Aksel Magdahl - navigator
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DELTA LLOYD LEG ONE DAY 4 QFB: Received 14.10.08 12:10 GMT

We are strategically positioning ourselves on the left of the fleet where we feel we may get to the high wind pressure before the fleet. We decided to gybe about 2 hrs before the fleet and head SSE to the beach in the hope of picking up some extra sea breeze, headed and gybing into 20 knots of target wind speed.

Currently 6th. Place in fleet with 40nm separating us from 5th & 46nm to first place, with approx 5,500nm to go its all up for grabs. Position 50nm north 32 degrees off the coast of Marrakech, West Africa, 15 knots boat speed in 15 knots top of mast wind.

The fleet seems to be sailing in a bunch have also decided to head the same direction & gybed after us as per the last sked.

Anyway the lads are happy as they reckon they may see some babes on the beach. Sailing to the target direction as fast as we can, watch changes are working well.

Life aboard is good as we all can not wait to get Delta Lloyd up to max speed in the 20 - 30 knots blast reaching we had as we departed Alicante.
Freeze dried food is becoming comfortable with a la cart menu of chicken & more chicken, looking forward to the beef I hope is packed in Day 6 Food Bag. Water Making, charging, nav., weather routing, engine charging, running rigging, sail, cooking, bilging, media, all part of daily life aboard the good ship Delta Lloyd.

Media Crew Sander Pluijm on restricted sailing duties took water samples yesterday and we videoed him. I just hope we have not infringed any NOR media rule by helping him! He’s getting on well with crew with the usual banter. I have discovered the Dutch are a mad as the Irish!

Over & Out
Delta Lloyd
Ger O’Rourke - skipper
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