Sunday, 19 April 2009
Telefonica Black on leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Rio de Janeiro to Boston. Image copyright Anton Paz/Telefonica Black/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Roger Nilson (navigator)
Today, a week since we started and I realise this long leg soon will be over, it is certainly happening faster than it looked like in the early stages.
Sure we have been fighting hard and certainly missed the power and enthusiasm of Mike Pammenter. We are not the biggest and strongest guys in the fleet! Parts of this leg have been very physical with lots of sail changes, especially just before the island where we lost PUMA, perhaps partly because we were tired.
The fleet has been amazingly tight together with the extra ordinary exception of Telefónica Blue who has sailed a flawless race so far. Hats off for her. Perfect start, the first 24 hours picking up the thermal breezes excellent, getting the approach to the gate well and finally getting away from the island before the rest of us were halted, slowed down by more doldrum-like conditions than she had. In the trade, the richer get richer and she was first into the strong breeze.
Only 24 nm separating the second and 7th boat leaves the finish order wide open. Telefónica Blue with her 100+ lead might be hard to reach but who will be next to finish?
The Media Station and sleeping area below decks on Telefonica Black. Image copyright Anton Paz/Telefonica Black/Volvo Ocean Race.
I feel we have sailed our Black boat really well this leg and it is also impressive to watch how much better Delta Lloyd is sailed.
We have had no breakdowns so far, touch wood, now testing our newly repaired hull in bumpy power reaching in the fresh North East trades. I feel now very confident that the boat is strong and healthy. The crew works very well together and manoeuvres are smoother than on earlier legs.
Yesterday the unfortunate two, Anton Paz and Pablo Iglesias passed the rough test from King Neptune and his two pirates ‘David from Hell’ (David Vera) and ‘Horrible Neti’ (Antonio Cuervas-Mons).
Volvo Ocean Race