Wednesday, 4 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 18 QFB: received 03.03.09 0559 GMT

Looking for land. Iker Martinez and Bouwe Bekking. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Tom Addis (navigator)

One of the most impressive aspects of Grant Dalton’s leadership of ETNZ during the last America’s Cup was his policy of sending his decision makers to the post-race press conferences irrespective of whether they had won or lost that day. I’m sure that Dalts' method was partly in respect for the audience, but a major part was also to front-up to situations and not hide away and pretend that bad things didn’t happen.

Well, writing this feels like one of those situations for me after a very painful, expensive night last night!! Surrounded by raining clouds, I chose the wrong option course-wise and we ended up in a world of pain for the next five hours or so.

The Dragon passed us and we lost all the valuable miles gained that day on the leaders. Sure it has been a tough day for everyone out here from the look of the scheds, but we always seem to be on the losing side at the moment!!

Whether this is bad luck, just a biased perception, a result of poor work or a lack of skill is often a moot point – very hard to prove one way or another especially as it is so difficult to make sense of the reported wind strengths and directions in the scheds at the moment and we only get a snapshot every three hours. Either way, it hasn’t been a good day for Telefónica Blue downstairs but the guys on deck have done a fantastic job of keeping the yacht moving in the breeze that we are in.

Anyway, in decent breeze again now and making really good miles straight down the track at 15-16kts. Time for the guys on deck to reap some rewards for their patience today.

Just snuck a five second peek at a photo of our beautiful family that I got for my birthday. Sailing a long leg like this really makes you think long and hard about what we do for a living. It gives our families a fantastic lifestyle in many ways, but like all the best things in life, gee it’s tough sometimes!!

Volvo Ocean Race

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