Monday, 27 October 2008

VOR - GREEN DRAGON LEG ONE DAY 15 QFB: Received 25.10.08 2244 GMT

by Ian Moore - navigator

It’s the calm before the storm and we are all taking a bit of time today to check our areas in preparation for the ‘Nam Off’ we are expecting early next week.

In the last three days we have covered almost 900 miles south from the scoring gate yet we are only 200 miles closer to Cape Town. The reward for this southerly dash is brewing just south of Cabo Frio and hopefully will start ploughing east following the south side of the St Helena high and dragging the entire fleet with it. The train still looks to be leaving on schedule; those not onboard could have a very long walk to Cape Town.

With all this wind forecast, it is imperative that we are prepared and that we minimize the chance of breakdown. We found a little problem with the sheave on the steering so Tom (Braidwood) has fixed that. Unfortunately he had to steal a bolt out of deck fitting right above my bunk so I am worried I will have a little water feature if he doesn’t seal it up properly. There is of course talk of 24-hour runs too and records and such, and in truth it does look like quite a straight run which is good for records. Certainly the best run for the leg will be set next week but no one could remember what the prize was.

We did quite a lot of sailing in similar conditions during our 2000-mile qualifier, which gives us some confidence in the gear, but it’s so easy for things to unravel very quickly when it’s blowing 40 knots. For sure there will be some tough decisions to make, whether to push hard and risk catastrophe or to throttle back and risk getting outpaced.

We are all looking forward to a bit of heavy weather sailing and although I have a few trepidations too, it will be good to turn the corner and start heading east, where every mile covered is a mile closer to Cape Town.

Volvo Ocean Race

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