Thursday, 19 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 32 QFB: received 17.03.09 1921 GMT

Telefonica Blue, about to take a dive, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Bouwe Bekking (skipper)

First of all well done to Ericsson 3. They have sailed brilliantly so far in this leg, and the reward is there, first around the Cape. Let’s see if they can hold on as the next 2200 miles as it will be tricky again.

The last 24 hours have been nice sailing with big westerly swells and the good news is that we are now under 3000 miles from the finish. We have already made the decision not to make a stop, as otherwise we will most likely lose more time as the weather is not favourable, but as well, mentally, it is better to carry on, stopping twice in a leg will hurt even more.

We have come a long way, and have to say that the guys have done a tremendous job. Never dark, always seeing the positive side of life and all are happy how we have been performing as a team.

We have seen lots of albatrosses yesterday; we must have sailed through an area with a lot food for them, as normally you don’t see that many stuck together in a group. But for the rest not much to see. We are especially happy that we haven’t seen any whales, as that is biggest worry, especially at night time. Icebergs, nada, but saw one solid echo on the radar 16 miles away last night, but probably a fishing boat (they are really crazy to stay down here for months in a row). So an ‘easy’ ride into the Horn and then upwind for a bit, which should free up relatively quickly so then making good miles to the finish again.

Volvo Ocean Race

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