Tuesday, 24 March 2009

VOR: Leg 5 Day 37 - A Slow Road to Rio

Sail changes onboard Green Dragon, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Lucy Harwood

It has been another slow day onboard Green Dragon as they try to escape an area of high pressure. The rest of the fleet is also experiencing similar conditions and the final road to Rio looks slow and long, especially with the escalating issue of a lack of food onboard!

Green Dragon holds fourth, but they are looking over their shoulder to Telefonica Blue who have been caught in a more favourable weather window, they currently hold a 239 miles lead over the Spanish crew and are 224 miles behind third placed PUMA.

Skipper Ian Walker updated us from onboard the Dragon:
"It has been pretty tough for us since we cleared Cape Horn. Everybody ahead has managed to scrape through weather windows and we are just getting caught left right and centre. It looked like we were going to get around the high pressure, which the leading three did, and we got swallowed up by it. We lost a lot of miles yesterday and had to go right through the centre of an area of high pressure so we were lucky not to lose more miles if I am honest. Now it is upwind all the way to Rio and it is still looking very difficult for us.

"It is a frustrating time but I guess we are more resigned to it than frustrated, there is nothing we can do we are just plodding along. The sun is out we have dried the boat out, we have taken our clothes off, I have seen my feet for the first time in about two weeks! Conditions are much improved but we are just frustrated because we want to challenge PUMA and we want to get to Rio as quick as we can. Everyone wants to know how long to go, particularly because a lot of the guys want to see their family as they haven’t seen them for two months. People are trying to book flights to get out of Rio, so there is a lot of interest in our ETA.

"We have been out here so long that another couple of days doesn’t matter too much apart from the fact that people want to see their loved ones and that we are running out of food! No one likes muesli so we have managed to store a lot of that up over the last 40 days! It is funny you are out here so long that the days and weeks just merge into one and we’ll get there when we get there we will just have to sail as fast as we can!"

Leg Five Day 37: 1600 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 753 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +60
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +112
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +336
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +575

Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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