Tuesday, 9 June 2009

VOR: DELTA LLOYD LEG EIGHT DAY 3 QFB: received 08.06.09 0751 GMT

Navigator Wouter Verbraak working on the tactics on his deckman, on leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Galway to Marstrand. Image copyright Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Sander Pluijm

From the gunshot at the start, this leg has been a real close boat to boat fight and it will probably stay that way till the finish line.

All Volvo 70s can see each other with the naked eye. Watch leader and five-time Volvo veteran Stu Wilson says it’s always like this at the end of the race. The big differences in between the boats and teams are not that big anymore.

Everybody ends eventually up in the same corner. All the sails look alike, the teams are all as experienced, the big gaps in training have closed and the crew all know the boats and each other very well. All teams and boats are optimised, so the differences are really small in the end. And of course the final legs are all simply a bit shorter.

So that makes it a lot harder for the boats to get away from the fleet, especially in a coastal leg like this one. So that’s why we are racing in really close order to Rotterdam.

With no sleep for the boys due to all the sail changes and manoeuvres. Really close battles are fought and everybody is extremely focused because every mistake costs miles and that’s going to cost you the leg.

And so the fleet is racing to Rotterdam, where we are going to have a great event on the coast of Hoek van Holland. We still don’t have an accurate ETA, but is looks like we are going to be there between 0800 and 2000 tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of the day we have a more accurate number.

Volvo Ocean Race

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