Saturday, 11 April 2009

VOR: Green Dragon Announce Crew Changes for Leg 6

Boat Captain James Carroll. Image copyright Yongtao Jiang/Green Dragon Racing.

by Lucy Harwood

Green Dragon has announced a crew change for Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Rio to Boston, which starts on Saturday April 11th 2009.

As part of the ongoing crew rotations pitman Tom Braidwood will stand down for the 4,900 mile leg to Boston and he will re-join the crew in Boston for the remainder of the race. Taking his place onboard the Dragon will be Green Dragon’s boat captain Irishman James Carroll. This will the second leg for Carroll who stepped onboard for leg 3 from India to Singapore. Also returning for Leg 6 are Green Dragon’s navigator Ian Moore and pitman and trimmer Anthony Merrington who has made a full recovery from the back injury he sustained during Leg 4.

Green Dragon Crew List Leg 6

Leg 6 will kick off from Rio de Janerio at 1500 local time (GMT -4) this Saturday 11th April. Green Dragon’s navigator Ian Moore filled us in on the weather forecast ahead, “The forecast for Saturday looks promising as the light variable conditions that we have had for the last week looks like it might give way to more predictable trade winds between Rio and Recife. The South Atlantic high looks to be moving to the south east which could bring more reaching than beating conditions for the first couple of days. The longer term outlook is less certain and although the Azores high is well established at the moment, the North East Trades east of the Caribbean look only moderate in strength.”

The 4,900 mile leg to Boston will throw some challenges at the crews. Just as the last few days into Brazil were testing, the first few days out may also prove to be tricky as they set off in the light airs that slowed the fleet as they approached the finish. Going offshore means more consistent conditions but it also means a longer route to Boston! Once past Recife, the seven teams will once again have to face the Doldrums. It will be the fourth time on this race and they will have to navigate the light and tricky conditions to get north as fast as possible.

Once through the Doldrums they will be looking to hook into the North East Trade Winds and then head onto the Gulf Stream. The last stretch will see the fleet enter the North Atlantic for the final approach to Boston, where they will have to navigate around an exclusion zone which has been added to the notice of race. The zone will prevent the boats from entering a breeding ground for whales, there is a speed limit within this area and as the race cannot guarantee the speed of the fleet the boats will have to sail further north and around the zone before the finish into Boston.

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

No comments: