Wednesday, 11 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 25 QFB: received 10.03.09 0120 GMT

Pablo Arrarte looking desolated after the breakage and the last couple of days sailing, 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

We have had a busy morning on board the blue boat today. Having been somewhat dissatisfied with the original mainsail repair (meaning that we have been sailing with one reef since NZ), we have finally managed to re-do it. With flat water and moderate conditions we ripped the old patch off, hoisted the mainsail back to full hoist and then hoisted Jordi (Jordi Calafat/ESP) up to do the repair in place.

After much swinging around on a halyard, Jordi has managed to make both our mainsail, and as a result our boat speed, look a little better. For sure it is going to need a little nursing to get it to Rio but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Morale continues to be good on-board and this morning was a fun morning of sailing with everyone in high spirits as the temperature was warm and the sun almost out - it is amazing what a little bit of dryness can do for you every now and then.

Sadly the up in morale hasn’t coincided with a move up the rankings, quite the opposite in fact as Ericsson 3 has been streaking away at an alarming pace taking almost 50 miles a sched from us overnight. Depressing as that sounds, you've got to take you hat off to the Nordic guys, a bold move that has paid off handsomely is something they can be proud of for sure!

At least now we are back on port, pointing vaguely towards Cape Horn after having to gybe off overnight to once again hunt out more pressure. With any luck, over the next few scheds, we might see the remainder of the fleet do the same and hopefully we can claw a few miles back! Here's hoping...

Volvo Ocean Race

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