Saturday, 16 May 2009
Green Dragon in port in Boston. Image copyright Yongtao Jiang/Green Dragon Racing.
by Lucy Harwood
As part of their on going crew rotation Green Dragon will have one crew change for Leg 7, pitman Tom Braidwood will step down and Ian Budgen who also sailed onboard Green Dragon for Leg 4 from Singapore to China will join the team for the 2,500 mile sprint across the North Atlantic to Galway, Ireland.
“Ian did a great job and fitted into the team well on leg 4 to China. It was all upwind and I promised he would one day see the spinnaker! I have no doubts we will get some hard running conditions on this leg. Returning to Galway will be a huge moment for the whole Green Dragon team, it will mark a circumnavigation for the boat and the culmination of three years of work, we cannot wait to see everyone in Galway and share the project with all our supporters”, said Skipper Ian Walker.
Good Luck messages from Ian Walker's daughters. Image copyright Yongtao Jiang/Green Dragon Racing.
Ian Budgen (Budgie) (GBR)
Ian joins Green Dragon with over 13 years of professional sailing to his name. He begun his career by dominating the Laser 5000 circuit before an Olympic 49-er campaign finishing second at the 1998 World Championships. In 2001 Ian joined GBR Challenge (The British America’s Cup syndicate) and has extensive experience on the TP52 circuit, which includes sailing onboard Lexus-Atalanti with Russell Coutts.
In 2006 Ian signed up with Paul Cayard and the crew onboard Pirates of the Caribbean for the 2005/06 Volvo Ocean Race. As a helmsman and trimmer he joined the team in Rio, sailing the remaining legs of the race, including winning the final leg to Gothenburg. This leg win cemented Pirates place on the podium where they finished second overall.
Volvo Ocean Race Experience
2005/06 Pirates of the Caribbean
2001 – 2003 GBR Challenge
“Leg 4 was pretty brutal, but it was another great experience. This next leg is one of the best and sailing the ‘Dragon’ into Galway will be fantastic. As we have seen before the North Atlantic holds some of the most challenging conditions, it will be a fast and furious ride to Galway”, said Ian Budgen.
Leg 7 Boston to Galway: 2,550 miles
Leg 7 starts at 13:00 local time (17:00 GMT/18:00 BST*/19:00 CEST) on the 16 May 2009. The classic transatlantic crossing, is dominated by the help available from low pressure systems and the Gulf Stream flow.
The North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) is a climatic phenomenon in the North Atlantic Ocean of fluctuations in the difference of atmospheric pressure at sea-level between the Icelandic Low and the Azores high. Through east-west oscillation motions of the Icelandic Low and the Azores high, it controls the strength and direction of westerly winds and storm tracks across the North Atlantic. It is highly correlated with the Arctic oscillation, as it is a part of it. But the crews should beware of the Azores High, if it moves north, as it can do in late May, it could slow the approach to Galway. The NAO was discovered in the 1920s by Sir Gilbert Walker. Unlike the El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, the NAO is a largely atmospheric mode. It is one of the most important manifestations of climate fluctuations in the North Atlantic and surrounding humid climates. Westerly winds blowing across the Atlantic, bring moist air into Europe. In years when westerlies are strong, summers are cool, winters are mild and rain is frequent. If westerlies are suppressed, the temperature is more extreme in summer and winter leading to heatwaves, deep freezes and reduced rainfall.
A permanent low-pressure system over Iceland (the Icelandic Low) and a permanent high-pressure system over the Azores (the Azores High) control the direction and strength of westerly winds into Europe. The relative strengths and positions of these systems vary from year to year and this variation is known as the NAO. A large difference in the pressure at the two stations (a high index year, denoted NAO+) leads to increased westerlies and, consequently, cool summers and mild and wet winters in Central Europe and its Atlantic façade. In contrast, if the index is low (NAO-), westerlies are suppressed, these areas suffer cold winters and storms track southerly toward the Mediterranean Sea. This brings increased storm activity and rainfall to southern Europe and North Africa.
Green Dragon Crew List Leg 7
IAN WALKER (GBR) - Skipper
IAN MOORE (IRL) - Navigator
NEAL McDONALD (GBR) - Watch Captain
DAMIAN FOXALL (IRL) - Watch Captain
ANTHONY MERRINGTON (AUS) – Helm/Trim
PHIL HARMER (AUS) - Helm/Trim
ANDREW MCLEAN (NZL) - Mast/Trim
IAN BUDGEN (GBR) – Helm/Trim
JUSTIN SLATTERY (IRL) - Bow
FREDDIE SHANKS (GBR) – Bow
GUO CHUAN (CHN) - Media Crew Member
Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race