Friday, 27 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 41 QFB: received 26.03.09 1302 GMT

A tired Iker Martinez holding the sheet of the staysail while furling the A3 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 Bouwe Bekking (skipper)

Well done Ericsson 3 from all of us, a very well sailed leg by them. A great result for Scandinavian sailing!

We escaped the ridge of high pressure late yesterday afternoon and since then slowly, but surely, the breeze has been building. Of course still hard on the wind, Neptune doesn’t want to give us a break.

Sometime later today there will be only two boats left on the water , and I think we are going to close range with the Dragons a bit, but it is not going to be enough.

We broke a big shackle early this morning on the code 0, luckily we had a safety sheet on there and more important nobody standing in the path, as the broken shackle shot through the cockpit floor, leaving a 50mm x 50mm hole. Mike got the Sikaflex out, and filled the hole up. The sandwich material of the cockpit is made is of so-called honeycomb nomex, which has the problem that if water can enter, it runs through and can spread over a big area, making the material soft and then losing its stability.

We finally lost the three small seagulls that have been following us for the last two days. Always the same ritual, they would fly once around the boat and then land close to the middle of the boat on the water, about half a boat length away. First thing after landing, sticking their head under water, and then looking to us, then we would lose them out of sight. Just when we thought, now we don’t see them anymore, the same ritual would happen again.

Gabry is having a more difficult time, as no water is coming over the deck, and not much action, but he keeps trying to get shots which he is happy with, but you can see on his face he prefers 25 knots (like we all do right now).

Volvo Ocean Race

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