Thursday, 5 March 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 3 LEG FIVE DAY 19 QFB: received 24.03.09 15:25 GMT

A day of destruction

Magnus Woxen changing sails on board Ericsson 3. Image copyright Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Gustav Morin

We are very happy with being second to the scoring gate. It was a hard fight against Puma. We were both pushing our boats beyond the limits, reaching in average 25 knots of heavy air and difficult sea state. Even though it was broad daylight it was tricky to see anything. It was a bit of a wet roller-coaster ride and a huge contrast to the kind of sailing we have seen for the past few days with flat water, sunny sky and average of 10 knots of wind. Now the boat is rocking and slamming like crazy again and you have to do some bailing every second hour. And it's not shorts and t-shirt temperatures anymore. In just around 30 hours we have changed mode to wearing warm thermals, fleece and full on wet weather gear.

"Someone said to me that this is a down wind race. I don't really agree". Thomas Johanson said today, coming down from a bumpy watch.

I don't really agree either. So far the only memorable downwind we have had was from the start in Alicante and the days close to the Southern Ocean on leg 2, before turning to port and starting reaching up to India.

Anyway, it has been pretty rough the last 30 hours and we are a bit bruised and battered. More than one has sore ribs from being washed around in the cockpit and we have had some other misfortunes as well.

I started yesterday evening when I slipped in the media station area and taking my laptop with me. It did not come out of that situation without injury like me. It fell to the floor and the screen broke. I guess I should be happy that it has been working for this long, but still I was a bit upset and went to sleep to put an end to my anger.

At the same time we were pushing hard towards the scoring gate. Once we were there, we tacked. Everything was a bit of a mess.

Volvo Ocean Race

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