Wednesday, 25 February 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 3 LEG FIVE DAY 11 QFB: received 24.02.09 0951 GMT

by Thomas Johanson (helmsman)

Happy days

People are rested now. Some have even washed themselves since we got into this lighter air yesterday. Clothes have also been washed and you see a lot of happy faces.

We are still racing close to Puma, gaining and losing depending on the different modes both boats use. It is nice to have them so close. It pushes the crew to always stay on top and make the boat perform at its best. We are happy to have caught up with Puma, but we are also trying hard to gain on Ericsson 4.

It was about time to get some rest. After we almost sunk the boat on leg four, and with big disappointment, lost what seemed to become a second position, we straight away started to look at different options on how the get back in the race as soon as possible.

It soon looked like there was no chance to get our boat to China by shipping in time. So we had a meeting with the sailors and decided that we are going to sail the boat there and in that moment we also agreed to do this leg, no matter what the timeline would be.

This leg five is THE Volvo Ocean race leg four us many Volvo rookies on Ericsson 3 and no one wanted to miss it. So everybody worked flat out from the moment we hit the shore. The boat builders and shore team made ‘mission impossible’ become possible.

Once the fix was done, we sailed shorthanded with seven guys to Qingdao. Just think about our gybes in 30 knots of wind with the spinnaker...

Now, after a quick and chaotic pitstop in China, we have now been blast-reaching for eight days. And we really needed some rest. All this shows the dedication from the whole core crew of Ericsson 3, led by Mange (Magnus Olsson/SWE), who has, by his own example, taught us all that the boat and the team comes first. Our baby is our tool and we need to treat her well.

Volvo Ocean Race

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