Thursday, 11 June 2009

VOR: GREEN DRAGON LEG EIGHT DAY 4 QFB; received 09.06.09 1742 GMT

Exhausted: Ian Moore and Ian Walker on board Green Dragon. Image copyright Huang Jian/Green Dragon Racing.

by Ian Walker (skipper)

You can tell when people are really tired as they don't bother to try and get in a sleeping bag; they just collapse in their wet kit wherever they can. This has been life onboard the Green Dragon for the last two days.

Non-stop manoeuvring and double stand-by watches means a maximum of two hours sleep in eight if you are lucky. There has seldom been a period where we have settled on a tack long enough for people to get any sensible rest. Having to go to Rotterdam and sail a two mile loop was the last thing anybody needed to do right now, but it is done and now we are back on our way.

It has been a bizarre day as we spent ages beating upwind only for the wind to shift 180 degrees and leave us gybing back down to the mark we spent all day trying to get up to. Although Ericsson 4 took the lead we did well to prevent the whole fleet turning inside out. We were happy to pass Telefónica Black when they had spinnaker problems and reclaim second place. This is where we remain, but as we sit becalmed as the wind transitions back the other way, it is only a matter of time before we get caught from behind. Sailing can be cruel and although we have sailed a good leg so far, it counts for nothing until we get to Marstrand.

We have been given a demonstration of pure boatspeed by Ericsson 4 today. It was an honour that they felt the need to repeatedly cover us, but as they ease out a half mile or so further ahead every hour I doubt they will be covering us for long. Still it is always fun to be ahead of the race leaders even if it only lasted a day or two. Who knows we may find a way back past them yet. For now I will settle for holding off the others - two of whom I can just see appearing over the horizon behind.

Volvo Ocean Race

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