Wednesday, 10 June 2009

VOR: Team Delta Lloyd Moves into Third Position after fast Rotterdam Passage

Team Delta Lloyd storms into Rotterdam. Image copyright Ronald Koelink/ Delta Lloyd.

by Diana Bogaards

After a fast passage of Rotterdam in a southerly breeze of 20-25 knots, Team Delta Lloyd moved into third position on the leader board of leg eight. On Tuesday June 9 at about 10:11 am, the Dutch entry started the Delta Lloyd Gate Race off the coast of Hoek van Holland in fifth position. This extra 'loop' was added to the original course from Galway to Marstrand/Sweden. As a result, the fleet does not sail around England, but along the bottom through the Channel. At 9:36 am it was again the overall leader Ericsson 4 that stormed across the starting line first. However, last comer Ericsson 3 clocked the fastest lap time.

The wind increased in the last couple of hours towards de Delta Lloyd Gate Race, which forwarded the ETA dramatically. Dutch bowman Gerd-Jan Poortman in a radio interview afterwards: "It was pretty hectic this morning. We planned to arrive at noon, but all of a sudden it changed to 10am. It was blowing 32 knots." Despite the bad weather with rain and a strong breeze, tens of yachts and spectator boats were waiting to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. They were patiently dancing on the waves. Poortman: "It was a short course, which requires a planning on board. There was not much time left to enjoy, but when I did look around, it was amazing to see all my friends, family and other people. They all faced the bad conditions and sailed out."

Team Delta Lloyd crosses the starting line. Image copyright Diana Bogaards/Team Delta Lloyd.

Meanwhile, skipper Roberto Bermúdez de Castro (ESP) and his crew climbed into third position with Telefonica Blue in their wake. Both are the most eastern boats and closest to the Wadden Islands. The front runners Ericsson 4 and Green Dragon opted for the seaside, whereas Telefonica Black chose the middle road.

Team Delta Lloyd goes through the finish. Image copyright Ronald Koelink/ Delta Lloyd.

Results Delta Lloyd Gate Race:
1. Ericsson 3, 12 minutes and 40 seconds
2. Puma, 14:03
3. Telefonica Black, 14:35
4. Telefonica Blue, 14:56
5. Green Dragon, 14:58
6. Delta Lloyd, 15:03
7. Ericsson 4, 15:11

Off they go! Team Delta Lloyd leaves Rotterdam. Image copyright Diana Bogaards/Team Delta Lloyd.

During the whole day, about sixty yachts and open boats competed in the Delta Lloyd Gate Race. They sailed the same course. Hemels van der Hart, sailing the brand new Team Heiner 38, set the fastest time and won a ticket to the finish in St. Petersburg. The TH38 with canting keel is designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG), who also designed the Delta Lloyd and Ericsson VO70s.

Team Delta Lloyd
Volvo Ocean Race

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