News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Green Dragon maintains a delicate lead

Green Dragon maintains a delicate lead

'Mark Covell/Team Russia/Volvo Ocean Race
Ben Costello mends a sail onboard Team Russia, on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race'    Volvo Ocean Race©    Click Here to view large photo

The first five boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have crossed the equator and were sailing in the South Atlantic trade winds on the 0400 position report. Look for reports of the various King Neptune ceremonies coming in over the course of the day as the first-timers are inducted into this offshore sailing brotherhood.

Oddly enough, the skippers of the two leading boats have never crossed the equator before, but Ian Walker on Green Dragon and Ken Read on PUMA are clearly fast learners.

Walker has led his team to the top of the table with a brilliant westward strategy in the Doldrums that saw Green Dragon escape first yesterday. PUMA and Ericsson 4 weren't far behind and in the relatively stable conditions of the trade winds, their positions haven't changed. Walker and his team maintain a 26 mile lead with Fernando de Noronha just 85 miles away.

But the battle behind is hot. PUMA is just two miles ahead of Ericsson 4, and the two boats appear to be attached by a string. This fight will continue all the way to Cape Town.

It's only slightly less tense further back with Telefonica Black 30 miles behind Ericsson 4. But Fernando Echavarri's men have some breathing space with their stablemates on Telefonica Blue a full 70 miles back.

'Finally we are out of the Doldrums, albeit in a rather mediocre fifth place,' writes Blue navigator Simon Fisher. 'But boy does it feel good to moving again. All in all, life is good. We are headed to Fernando and first few points of this leg. Not as many as we would like, but given the difficulties we have had so far, I guess it's not all bad.'

Behind, Ericsson 3 are fending off Team Russia, as well as a hard-charging Delta Lloyd. Ger O'Rourke's team paid for being the most easterly boat in the Doldrums, but are now sailing a more favourable angle than the others on the run up to Fernando de Noronha. Will this be enough to allow them to make a pass?

'We're chasing the Russians and Ericsson 3 as we approach the scoring gate,' writes O'Rourke. 'It would be nice to pass these two by the gate from our hotter (we hope) sailing angle.'

After the scoring gate, it all gets tricky again, with the South Atlantic (St. Helena) high pressure system the major obstacle before Cape Town. There's plenty of sailing left folks.

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Dawn in the Doldrums for the crew of PUMA Ocean Racing -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=50111   Click Here to view large photo


Volvo’s shore based performance evaluator Mark Chisnell.

'Green Dragon should lead the fleet at the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha, and pick up maximum points sometime tomorrow afternoon, but it’s too close too call between PUMA and Ericsson 4. They should reach the gate with the trade winds still blowing strong. So the next job on the strategists’ to-do-list is dealing with the South Atlantic High'.

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Bowman Justin Slattery take a hit from a wave on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=50111   Click Here to view large photo


ERICSSON 3 LEG ONE DAY 12 QFB: received 22.10.08 1109 GMT

There is full traffic by navstation. It seems like we have passed the Doldrums and hit the trade winds. Now everyone wants to have a look at the computers to see how the others are doing. And, to get an answer to the big question, do we still have a chance?

During the three days in the Doldrums we have lost an awful amount of miles to our opponents. It has been really tough just lying still when you know the others have wind. Not the least since we were, together with Puma, the first boat to arrive to this tricky place.

The worst example is Telefónica Blue who was 140 miles behind us and now is 30 ahead. That should not be possible. Even Green Dragon was very far behind and now they are in the lead. Big time.

The first example of the bungee effect was in Gibraltar. We arrived in the top squad, but when we had stretched far enough we stopped and the others came flying from behind.
Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race
Dolphins play alongside Ericsson 3 in the Doldrums. on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=50111   Click Here to view large photo

We are now fighting on and doing everything to catch up. I definitely think it is possible and that we still have a chance of doing really well.

It is our turn to be on the other side, benefitting from the bungee effect.

Gustav Morin - MCM

TEAM RUSSIA LEG ONE DAY 11 QFB: received 21.10.08 0130 GMT

Finally a few spare minutes where I’m not desperate to ‘hit the rack’. It’s around 1800 local time and it’s the end of another scorching day at the middle of the earth. The boat is still stinking hot down below and the last thing I want to do is sweat a Kg of warm slightly salty liquid on my watch buddy below. Sitting at a computer isn’t that thrilling an option either, but Mark’s kindly lent me his which is loaded with funny stories, pictures and videos, all of which seem all the more hilarious after 10 days at sea.

It’s been an awesome start to this epic race and to be so close after so many hours hard racing is fantastic for everyone involved in the event. It still feels a little surreal for me to be out here as a competitor. So many of my idols have cut their teeth on this race track and I’m ‘stoked’ to be given my chance. It only seems a few years ago that I remember visiting St Catherine’s dock in London to see Steinlager 2, back after her stunning victory in the ‘89/90 race. I was ten at the time……which makes some of our crew today feel a little old…. but I can still clearly remember the experience and we still have the pictures at home.

Mark Covell/Team Russia/Volvo Ocean Race
A slow day on Kosatka still stuck in the Doldrums on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=50111   Click Here to view large photo
Is it what I expected? Every bit and more!! By the end of this race I will have clocked up well over 100,000 offshore racing miles but each time I go offshore, I’m struck by how simplistic life can be. No ‘phone calls or emails, no day-to-day hassles, just 4 hours on and 4 hours off. One of the really interesting parts of my role within the team, compared with the short-handed sailing I usually do, is no real involvement in the navigation side of things, which right now is where the real stress is at. I just need to keep the boat in one piece, do my share of the driving, trimming, grinding, stacking……and sleep, happy days.

What do I miss the most? I’m not sure I should really say this but my dog Shackleton; quite simply the best friend a man could ever have. He’s off having adventures of his own and like his buddy, he knows how to have fun too so no worries there. Take care Shack!

Although we are pretty cut off from the outside world, it’s nothing compared with the sailors of days gone by and it’s great to receive occasionally updates on world news, gossip and especially sport!! On a sad note I was gutted to hear of Alex Thomson’s dismasting just prior to the start of the Vendee Globe. Anyone who has worked hard on any campaign will surely feel for him and I hope it all comes together in time for him to fight it out in one of the other truly great ocean races. I know we will be in Cape Town before they start….fingers crossed, but best of luck to all the guys and girls in the Vendee Globe 2008.

Just a few minutes to look ahead now, ocean sailing is always a great time for contemplation and my life-long dream of running a small boatyard back in Suffolk still burns brightly in my thoughts. Building a boat or two a year, looking after my friends’ yachts and generally enjoying a relaxed pace of life…..I’m not even 30 and I’m looking forward to slowing down, something must be wrong, the Doldrums must be getting to me!! I know I’ve got a few more Volvos and a least one Vendee Globe left in me yet!

In the more immediate future……Cam (Cameron Wills) and Mikey, (Mike Joubert), our resident South Africans, constantly talk of the fun we’re all going to have in Cape Town and the great people we’re going to meet. The last thing I want to do is wish the race away, but I am really looking forward to finally getting to stop at some of the beautiful places that I’ve only ever raced past before.

Right, now it’s time for ‘the rack’, it sounds like punishment but it’s heaven. We’ve got every chance in this race still and despite the stories

by Peter Rusch


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

10:25 AM Thu 23 Oct 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

20 Oct 2011  Puma's Volvo 70 - 'il mostro' - for sale!
17 Aug 2010  Volvo Ocean Race Legends: Caviar, Cocktails and Central Heating
23 Jul 2010  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper announce build, crew and workup for VOR70
05 Jul 2010  Volvo Ocean Race announce Legends Regatta covering all editions
07 May 2010  Stu Bannatyne joins CAMPER/Emirates Team NZ for Volvo Ocean Race
04 May 2010  Second's out for PUMA's Ken Read in Volvo Ocean Race + Video (x2)
30 Apr 2010  Puma announces core team for Volvo Ocean Race
26 Apr 2010  Sports Consultancy secures 10 Host Ports for Volvo Ocean Race 2011–12
22 Apr 2010  Nicholson and Minoprio named for Camper/ETNZ Volvo crew + Audio
20 Apr 2010  Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 – Schedule announced

News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovered from reef by and Volvo OR Media
The Volvo65, Team Vestas Wind has been recovered from a reef off St Brandon, on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. the yacht has been hoisted aboard a Maersk shipping line vessel, after being dragged over the reef and into the lagoon on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. ... [more]  

Andrea Francolini was on the water with the US supermaxi, RIO 100 during offshore training session before the Boxing Day Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature by John Curnow
It is one of the other lines from the theme song of our little time with Terry Thomas and the gang. However, the real thing is that not only are the Moths quick, over the time since they began to get up on foils, the fleet has compacted up. Another crucial element to add, is that all craft also get a result, even if they do not complete all the laps. The latter is a lot better than a DNF. ... [more]  

The 'super-bacteria' are usually found in hospital waste and produce an enzyme, KPC, resistant to antibiotics. Researchers found the bacteria in samples taken from Flamengo beach. Nearly 70% of sewage in Rio - a city of some 10 million people - is spilled raw into the waters of Guanabara Bay. The bacteria were found in samples taken from several locations along the Carioca river. ... [more]  

‘We don’t expect children to ride adult bikes when they can’t touch the ground, so why do we expect them to sail adult boats when they can’t control as they should. We didn’t want this for our children so set about trying to develop a boat that addresses this problem. ... [more]  

The eventful sailing summer will carry on into 2015. In addition to the established annual regatta events, we will see 2015 the J/80 World Championships a week after Kieler Woche, to be followed by the F18 Worlds. Die Notices of Race for YES, Kieler Woche, the J/80 Worlds and F18 Worlds are now accessible online. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada: An international fleet of yachts took part, with crew from at least 12 different countries racing magnificent Maxis, crewed by top professional sailors, as well as production yachts crewed by friends and family. For all the yachts, the adventure started long before the start line. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind has been recovered from a reef off the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. Shane Smart was sent to cover the recovery operation and filed these images ... [more]  

Jeremy Pilkington's Baltic 78, Lupa of London was announced as the first winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy with the best elapsed time under IRC. Class winners received an engraved crystal decanter and all competitors present received a special edition bottle of Westerhall Plantation Rum, with the insignia of the RORC Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

Qingdao, venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, will host some of the world’s finest sailors for the third consecutive year from 14-20 September 2015 with the 2016 dates to be confirmed. Spots for the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 27 October to 1 November 2015, will be at stake as well as World Cup bragging rights. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - A bashing, crashing and punishing first night at sea could well decide the outcome in the race for line honours in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The 117 yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart will face an early test this year, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasting a sharp 20 to 25 knot southerly change on Boxing Day afternoon not long after the start. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Just a few days out from Boxing Day and the buzz around the docks of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is that Ray Roberts is looking like a very good bet to win this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - There’s no doubt the returned soldiers aboard Spirit of Mateship and Southern Excellence II are the kind of blokes you want around if things went horribly wrong – and for that matter, you want them for the good stuff too – because they are top blokes. ... [more]  

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series: This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, is proving to be a huge attraction for overseas entries with over 20 already signed and more than 50 boats expected overall. One of the biggest draws is the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race (21 January), a 60 nautical mile ocean race round the island. There are currently 14 established records in this race. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race: The challenges of racing as a duo, not just seeking to perform at the highest level over a period of 90 to 100 days but actually co-habiting in a small, confined space whilst also experiencing extremes of discomfort – wet, damp, tired, hot, cold, emotional and physical. Here Ken Way gives an insight into how he helps the relationship between the two skippers work. ... [more]  

Comanche’s owner, Jim Clark concedes that a Rolex Sydney Hobart isn’t the ideal first race for such a big, complex machine, but: 'I am married to an Australian, and I’ve seen the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart a number of times. ... [more]  

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Warwick Sherman never really wanted to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart, he’d done plenty of ocean racing, but bashing his way across Bass Strait to get to Tasmania just didn't grab him. Perversely, all that changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. ... [more]  

The second stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour is coming up next and will be held in Algarrobo, Chile from 24 - 31 January. More than eight yachts are expected to take part in the Chille Sailing Week, a competition noted for its level of competition and close racing, where success is characterized by consistency, precision and teamwork. ... [more]  

The Flying Dutchman, regarded as one of the finest and fastest one-design dinghy classes ever designed, will return to Sydney Harbour en masse when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducts the Australian and World championships, starting next week. ... [more]  

The International Moth Class isn't exactly a new sailing class, yet the learning curve would have to be one of the steepest out there. Moths have been on foils for almost 10 years, yet besides talking to fellow moth sailors, there isn't a lot of information out there to help you master the skills and techniques needed to fly ... [more]  

America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell,
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Australia’s premier ocean race has always had an international flavour; Captain Illingworth, who started the whole Sydney Hobart thing was, after all, an Englishman. ... [more]  

An initiative by the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) led to collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and ultimately the creation of a new superyacht handicapping rule - the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean sailors are daft; why else would you think it a good idea to take a modern ocean racing yacht around the world on her own bottom to compete in lots and lots of races, some thousands of miles long? ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The island is off the NSW south coast, 155 nautical miles south of Sydney’s South Head and about 6 nm south-east of Narooma. Its lighthouse, built of granite quarried on the island, began operating in 1881. The island is a protected nature reserve. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hundreds of Australian sailors spend their lives trying to win the Tattersall’s Cup; year after year they declare in Hobart that this was their last Rolex Sydney Hobart - definitely - for sure. But 12 months later you spot them again at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, tinkering with their pride and joy and nervously eying off Boxing Day ... [more]  

America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco *Feature by Richard Gladwell/
In further legal fallout from the 34th America's Cup one of the New Zealand sailors named in an action bought by the International Sailing Federation has in turn lodged a lawsuit in a California Court against his former racing team, Oracle Racing Inc over boat fixing in America's Cup World Series ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week 2015 by Antigua Sailing Week
If you haven't been to Antigua Sailing Week for some years Antigua Sailing Week have a quick overview for you of what has changed and what makes it worth the journey along with information on bareboat and race charters, multihulls and challenges for 2015. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race: The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race. Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them. ... [more]  

2017 J/80 World Championships: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) has an active J/80 fleet and attracts many more of the class to its summer series of regattas run annually from May through to September, in addition to match racing J/80s in the annual Grade 2 Match Cup. ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell,
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Race skipper to receive prestigious US award
OK Dinghy Worlds - Preview 2: Overindulgence in sailing fun
America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault
Sydney Hobart Race - Crew prepares for a game of 'Snakes and Ladders'
WPA Race Season - Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge preview
Comanche in the Solas Big Boat Challenge - Images by Andrea Francolini
Sunbrella Fabrics supports US Olympic and Paralympic Sailors
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Mauritius as Vestas Wind salvage begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Martinez leaves Mapfre for Leg 3 to China
Volvo Ocean Race: Nicholson back on the atoll to retrieve Vestas Wind
America's Cup: Iain Murray appointed as Regatta Director again
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Clipper Race to enter 12-strong fleet
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 16 show
Pogo 40, Bingo completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Safety Requirements published
Int'l 14 World Championships - Defending champion expects tight racing
WWA Wake Park World Series - Daniel Grant and Aaron Gunn make history
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Highlights video from Port Philip
Bart’s Bash raises huge total for international sailing charity   
Optim'X (FRA) completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014   
Perpetual Loyal unveils 1120 square metre A2 for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
ISAF SWC Melbourne – Girls’ Day Out *Feature   
Website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna is launched   
Great signed Limited Edition sailing books by Bob Fisher for Christmas   
Clipper Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to mentor young South African   
IFDS Worlds 2014 New Video Memories - Halifax is just a click away!   
McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2015 - Must see, seriously fun event   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature   
Successful St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up at Kim Sha Beach   
US Sailing releases Rio 2016 Olympic Trials System   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return   
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down   
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least   
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT