Thursday, 29 January 2009

VOR: GREEN DRAGON LEG FOUR DAY 11 QFB: received 28.01.09 0527 GMT

Some of the Green Dragon crew take time out during what has been a gruelling time for all of the fleet, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Ian Moore

What a difference a day makes. Since we left the Philippines and managed to break Tommy’s (Tom Braidwood/AUS) repair to the forward ring frame, we have been nursing the boat with three reefs and a storm jib, the other sails downstairs and the keel on centreline. Just occasionally we would find an area of flatter water and shake a reef out for a few hours. Inevitably, we would fall of a few big ones, get scared and reef again.

Now we have escaped the grips of the Kuroshio current and the sea, although not completely flat, is 'almost normal'. We have a stack on deck for the first time in five days, the keel is fully canted, and we are making almost 11 knots on course. It doesn't sound like much, but at times we have been slowing down to five or six knots just to keep the impacts down to an acceptable level. It feels like we are racing again.

More repairs to the bow section on Green Dragon. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

Tommy and Neal (Neal McDonald/GBR) have further repaired the port side of the ring frame and, touch wood, it seems much stronger. We are still a wounded Dragon, and I shouldn't tempt fate, but for the first time in a while it feels like we might make it to Qingdao without have to stop again.

Volvo Ocean Race

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