Tuesday, 9 June 2009

VOR: Green Dragon - Into the English Channel

The image gives an impression of how wet it is aboard Green Dragon. Image copyright Huang Jian/Green Dragon Racing.

by Lucy Harwood

It has been a fast and furious start to Leg 8 as the fleet headed out of Galway and south towards the Fastnet Rock. The fleet were racing south in 25 plus knot conditions. Green Dragon chose a route further out to the west offshore which paid dividends as they approached the Fastnet Rock and found themselves in first place. It was the home team led by Ian walker that led the fleet around the famous landmark, “it was a great thrill for the Green Dragon team to round the famous landmark and leave Ireland’s shores in first place,” commented skipper Ian Walker earlier today.

Whilst the Dragon performed an excellent gybe in some very challenging 35 knot conditions, whilst some other boats weren’t so lucky. Both Ericsson 4 and PUMA had difficulties and Torben Grael and his men suffered a wipe out and were left laying on their side left with a broken wheel and a lot of water onboard. The team also discovered a relatively large area of delamination between the hull and the deck on the starboard quarter of the boat, with Marstrand just a pit stop and no assistance from the shore team allowed, it will mean more work for the crew upon arrival in Sweden.

Once past the Fastnet Rock the tactical options opened up again, and the fleet have been re-shuffling every since. Green Dragon made a clear decision and headed off for the Scilly Isles with Telefoncia Black taking the same route. Elsewhere the rest of the fleet headed north of the Scilly Isles. Racing remains close as the fleet head into the English Channel with just seven miles splitting front to back with Telefoncia Blue currently holding poll position.

Fastnet Rock Rounding Order
1. Green Dragon 22:46:34 GMT
2. PUMA 22:51:51 GMT
3. Telefonica Blue 22:53:15 GMT
4. Ericsson 4 22:55:20 GMT

5. Ericsson 3 22:56:23 GMT
6. Delta Lloyd 23:14:15 GMT
7. Telefonica Black 23:23:50 GMT

Leg Eight Day 2: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
1. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTF 911 nm
2. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +1
3. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +1
4. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +2
5. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +3
6. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +5
7. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +7

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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