Tuesday, 16 June 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 4 LEG NINE DAY 2 QFB: received 15.06.09 1201 GMT

Ericsson 4 at dawn, as the fleet pass the Orsund Bridge on the way to Stockholm. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Guy Salter

All was going relatively easily until 1045 GMT this morning when, out of the blue (i.e. - no sign on the water), came a huge wind shift.

Everyone was in a line on starboard tack, pretty much sailing direct to our waypoint 10nm from the finish line and then a header and reduction in pressure came in. The shift was about 100 degrees, so we found ourselves sailing on the wrong tack. It was one of those shifts where the boys behind should benefit by seeing it coming as it hits the boats in front.

For us it was a scramble to get the stack ready and tack the boat - after which followed a sail change to the code zero. So now rather than being in a line we are sailing on port tack with Puma behind and to windward and Ericsson3 to leeward and behind.

One scenario we are expecting is for the wind to clock round and back to where it was originally coming from - the NW. The wind speed is hovering around 5kts - so it’s going to get slower and harder now - the leg up until now has been in higher wind speed.

Some of the lads managed to get some sleep this morning, although it has been hard as it’s been pretty cold onboard and all have been in the clothes we started in. Sleeping bags are absent on this leg so it’s just a matter of putting up with it if you are cold. It’s looking like the chances of sleep have gone now as we are having to change the stack a lot to help the trim of the yacht. It’s time to roll are sleeves up to keep in the top spot.

Volvo Ocean Race

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