Friday, 20 March 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 3 LEG FIVE DAY 34 QFB: received 19.03.09 1018 GMT

Media Crew Member Gustav Morin gives the thumbs up as Ericsson 3 leads the fleet up the Atlantic towards Rio. Image copyright Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Aksel Magdahl (navigator)

We had a BIG celebration passing Cape Horn. In 25 knots breeze with the big spinnaker up, we smoked cigars, had a few sips of rum, joked and had more fun than on this leg to date.

It has just been such a tough leg that there has not been time or energy to waste on anything else other than trying to sail the boat at 100 percent in the right direction. But yesterday, all the held-back happiness was released at once when we passed the Horn leading the fleet after having started behind the others due to our ‘hole in the hull’ on the previous leg.

Just after that, we tried to sail through the convergence zone off the southeast Argentinean coast, and parked there for a few hours before we got going again. Very nervous times on deck for Magnus Olsson, who is not exactly of the ‘cold, calm and quiet’ personality type! But as the guys behind parked as well, it was actually quite welcome, we could sleep without bouncing around for the first time in a while.

It is nice to go into the last week of racing with an advantage of 50 miles, but it is not a very comfortable lead because we are sailing through this area of high pressure bubbles. My biggest concern is the high we will have to negotiate in two to three day’s time. It can easily become a parking spot. Then of course the light breeze as we get close to Rio. But already tonight we will have to try to get ahead of another light patch developing between the two highs to our north and south. It looks like we may just manage that.

We just had to back down the boat twice to get rid of kelp hanging on our keel, daggerboard and rudders. It is still quite cold, but from the satellite pictures it looks like we will get into warmer water tomorrow. The cold water is actually helping us north, as it means we are still in the north-flowing current bringing cold water from the south. Jens Dolmer agreed under doubt to give our sleeping bag another day before we tough it out and remove the warm part of it.

Time to eat my second pack of noodles for the day, once again I was last to the food pot and nothing left. Someone must be trying to eat heaps before we go empty.

To everyone sending emails to the team and leaving messages on the web site:
Lots of thanks for all the support in the early stages of this leg, and the greetings in the later stages of the race, we really appreciate it!!

Volvo Ocean Race

No comments: