Saturday, 18 April 2009
Coffee time on board Green Dragon on leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Rio to Boston. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Lucy Harwood
The fleet have past the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha, the same scoring gate from the first leg from Alicante to Cape Town. It was the Spaniards on Telefonica Blue who kept Ericsson 4 at bay and took full points. Ericsson 4 were second followed by Delta Lloyd just one minute ahead of PUMA. Telefonica Black took fifth, Ericsson 3 were next, followed by Green Dragon who had been caught in a band of light air as they made their final approach.
The calm light conditions before the gate have now shifted to squalls and wind shifts ranging from 5 – 18 knots, as well as a swing in direction from north-east to east-southeast. Ahead lies the doldrums and life isn’t going to get easier until they are through this and can head into the north-east trade winds. With the gate behind them the options for routing are more open as they don’t have to work towards a direct way point ahead of them.
Once past the gate the fleet scattered and Telefonica Blue have pulled away from the chasing pack. They now hold a 70 mile lead from the closet boats Ericsson 4 and Ericsson 3. Whilst Green Dragon remains in seventh they have made progress on the boats ahead and are now 21 miles from second placed Ericsson 4. For James Carroll (Green Dragon’s boat captain) who is sailing his second leg onboard the Dragon it will be a nervous 24 hours as they pass the equator. This will be his first crossing and as skipper Ian Walker pointed out King Neptune does not look kindly on those who pass from south to north on their first time! A visit from King Neptune and Queen Codfish is on the cards for the Dragon...
Leg Six Day 7: 1600 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
1. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTF 3,270 nm
2. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +70
3. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +79
4. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +82
5. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +83
6. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) + 84
7. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +91
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS
Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race