Saturday, 18 April 2009
Telefonica Blue, skippered by Bouwe Bekking (NED) are first through the scoring gate of Fernando de Noronha at 19:58:56 GMT 16/04/09, securing 4 points, on of 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)
Today has been a good day. We finally seized upon something that has proved elusive in this race until now - a first place at a scoring gate!
With the four points safely under our belt we have now rounded Fernando de Noronha and are continuing our way north towards the doldrums and then the NE trades that will carry us back towards the north Atlantic.
Passing the island of Fernando was a good milestone and an opportunity to look upon some spectacular scenery. However I am beginning to question it as a desirable holiday destination as both times we have been passed in this race it has been pouring with rain!
All is well on board, life remains busy as ever as squalls and clouds seem to dominate our days, even when it is relatively clear we remain ever vigilant. Today has brought better wind too, and for the first time on this leg, we have seen wind speeds over 20 knots which has brought a welcome return to some fast sailing. It is however, pretty wet on board when we are blasting along but with the sea temperature up at 30 degrees getting a good soaking is not so much of a problem!!
We have managed to stretch a little on the fleet behind but despite now having passed the scoring gate, the bit is still firmly between our teeth. As we head north and into the night the wind is likely to get increasingly unstable and as a result we will have to fight to keep our lead. It is important now that we be the first through the doldrums and into the trades as that may well be our golden opportunity to stretch on the fleet. So far so good but, as ever, there is no time to relax!
Volvo Ocean Race