Friday, 17 April 2009
Telefonica Blue, on leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Rio de Janeiro to Boston. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Simon Fisher (helmsman)
The game of cat and mouse continues with the boats behind as we make our way north towards Fernando de Noronha and the scoring gate for the leg.
Last night the navigation lights of Ericsson 4 came into to view and then disappeared but Delta Lloyd appeared and has since been ever present on the horizon. With Delta Lloyd up to windward it has give us something tangible to measure our performance against in between each sched and has forced us to push even harder to defend our position. So far so good though, over the course of the morning we have gained a few precious degrees despite having to continually battle with clouds and squalls that cross our path.
Relative to the rest of the fleet, each position report brings either small gains or small loses as no doubt each of the boats in the fleet have to contend with the ups and downs that the squall clouds bring also, however when one rolls over you it is hard not to feel like you are the only one being slowed!
Despite the busy times on deck, life is good on the whole. The weather is hot and sunny with decent breeze (most of the time) which has resulted in us making good miles to the waypoint so far. However, to claim all the points there are on offer we will no doubt have to keep pushing hard all the way. Even as I write, the wind is dropping as, yes, you've guessed it, a big cloud is crossing our path. Despite being nearly 10 miles away the wind is dropping away along with our boat speed. No doubt the guys on deck will be working hard but looking nervously over their shoulders until the wind starts to build again.
Volvo Ocean Race