Wednesday, 25 March 2009

VOR: Leg 5 Day 39 - Difficult Times on the Dragon

An exhausted Tom Braidwood looking at a broken generator, onboard Green Dragon, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Lucy Harwood

Today is Day 39 and there is less than 900 nm to go for the Dragon to arrive in Rio de Janeiro to see their families, get a good shower, drink a cold beer and have a proper meal.

Weather conditions have remained the same for the last 24 hours. “At 10:00 ZULU this morning wind speeds and boat speeds were still trying to struggle out of single digits, the wind direction mostly southerly. Each boat was wriggling north towards Rio de Janeiro, their tracks like a snail’s trail down a garden path. It was a very different picture for Green Dragon and Telefónica Blue. They are spread almost 400 miles apart, east-to-west across the course to Rio. There’s less than 1,000 miles to go, and with Green Dragon’s advantage to the finish down to less than a 100 miles, this looks more of a race.” - Volvo’s race expert Mark Chisnell informed.

Update from Green Dragon Skipper Ian Walker:
“It is 6:30 in the evening on the 39th day. We were supposed to have finished three days ago. We’ve managed an entire one hundred miles today in 24 hours at an average of just over 4 knots. The forecast doesn’t look much better for the next two days so we’re facing another week at sea. It’s five days since we rounded Cape Horn and we hoped to get there (Rio) in seven so we are going to be five days later than we thought and we’ve got two days food left. So, we’ve split up all the food, we’ve issued all the food to each crew member or to each watch so they are in charge for their own food so there can’t be arguments about it.

Everyone is on pretty good form but obviously a bit disappointed. Now our other problem is Telefónica Blue who are able to come up behind while we’re sitting here in no wind and try and pass us to the east. Difficult times at sunset on the Dragon. In times like this I just come up on the foredeck and take a moment because life is not that bad. This is a very pleasant evening.”

Leg Five Day 39: 1600 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 387 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +79
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +181
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +525
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +585

Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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