Tuesday, 3 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 17 QFB: received 02.03.09 0215 GMT

Xabier Fedrnandez and David Vera servicing a winch onboard Telefonica Blue, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Simon Fisher

Another 24 hours have passed and the seas have remained calm and the wind moderate. As expected the wind has lifted and for the first time since doing the dog leg outside of the harbour in Qingdao and we have a spinnaker up again.

Tactically we have suffered a bit overnight being a little further west and in less wind which proved frustrating, however, we still wait for our turn and can be thankful that we are very much in the hunt despite our somewhat delayed start now two weeks ago. There are plenty more miles to come and no doubt many more opportunities to catch the leaders. That said, it feels like the first scoring gate is looming ever closer and we are keen to put our mark on the fleet...

On deck temperatures are soaring and it is no doubt the hottest day since we have started. Especially with the lack of apparent wind blowing over the deck as a result of our downwind course! Grinding the spinnaker quickly saps your energy and the water in your bottle quickly becomes warm and, quite frankly, not that refreshing. Downstairs is not that much better either. Your have to watch your step as you come down the hatch as the carbon step has heated up to a temperature that will easily burn you feet as I found out the hard way earlier!

Luckily you can get some relief from all the fans whirring away in the bunks although I have a feeling that I am in for a restless afternoon... Hopefully my iPod will keep me entertained until temperatures moderate enough so I can sleep!

Volvo Ocean Race

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