Monday, 15 December 2008

VOR: GREEN DRAGON LEG TWO DAY 2 QFB: received 16.11.08 1530 GMT

by Ian Walker (skipper)

Compared with our first 24 hours leaving Alicante, the first 24 hours of this leg have been relatively event free. Despite this, it has been quite tiring on the crew, as we have had an abundance of sail changes.

We used most of our sails before getting away from Cape Town. Tactically what had looked like a minefield has not panned out too badly. We made a brave call to sail for about 3 hours in completely the wrong direction to get into the westerlies earlier and were thankfully well rewarded. Now the whole fleet is charging along in 20 - 25 knots of westerly and we have just dealt with the worst of the Agulhas Current.

It is nice to have some other boats in sight compared with the last leg and it is even nicer that we seem able, in these conditions, to hold the two Telefónicas and ERT 3 behind us. Puma and ERT 4 have a good break from the fleet with speed to burn.

Other than a bit if an uncomfortable trip up the mast for Justin to solve a reefing problem there is nothing much to report. There are the normal first day blues as we struggle to get used to the food and sleep patterns and, for most of us, the realisation that we will not see our families until Christmas. Cape Town is a fantastic stopover and it will always be hard to leave.

Volvo Ocean Race

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