Tuesday, 9 June 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 4 LEG EIGHT DAY 3 QFB: received 08.06.09 1411 GMT

Ericsson 4 wipes out. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson 4.

by Stu Bannatyne (watch captain)

Yet again all boats are within sight of each other as we now work our way upwind towards the Straits of Dover and the halfway point of this leg to Marstrand.

It has been a very tricky passage so far up the English channel with first off some light air downwind sailing followed by a gradual transition into an upwind scenario. These transitions are always tricky, trying to find the right balance between gaining leverage for the wind shift and falling into lighter winds if you go to far. All the boats were flirting with the edge and we all had turns at making gains and losses. To add to the dilemma, the transition occurred mostly during the hours of darkness and there was also plenty of current to contend with also. We saw up to six knots at times as we passed the Channel Islands and the Cherbourg peninsula.

Ultimately, it was the boats that worked further south that came out with a nice gain, both Green Dragon and Telefónica Black doing well. As the breeze shifted further into the south and then south east, we all had to change sails from our masthead running spinnakers through the A3s and now we are all on upwind masthead zeros with the wind averaging around 10 knots and coming from where we need to go!

There is plenty of racing left yet in this leg and the weather forecast is showing some interesting scenarios developing over the next few days so there will of course be some more close racing and not a lot of sleep going on, but we are very used to that this leg having not yet had a full off watch and no chance of one in the near future either. Oh well I suppose we will have to wait for our arrival in Marstrand to get some decent rest!

Volvo Ocean Race

No comments: