Tuesday, 24 March 2009

VOR: Leg 5 Day 38 - Hitting a Wall...

Green Dragon slow as they hit calm weather, 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

The crew onboard Green Dragon are looking at the potential for another week at sea. Whilst previous weather models before the weekend suggested that the Dragon may hook into an area of low pressure and be into Rio by the middle of the week, the forecast did not live up to expectations as the crew are now stuck in an area of high pressure, almost at a stand still. If there is any consolation for Green Dragon, the fleet had have also hit a wall into Rio and boat speeds have ranged from 0.5 – 6 knots over the last 12 hours.

Volvo’s race expert Mark Chisnell filled us in on the developing weather systems ahead, “If we look at the Predicted Route image for boat positions and weather in 24 hours time, there’s a channel of easterly breeze developing along the coast north of Ericsson 3’s position. It ought to hold up for the next 24-36 hours, then strengthen – and should eventually get everyone back to the Dragon out of jail. But there are still some big holes in the breeze out there, and it will only take a butterfly flapping its wings in the wrong place to really ruin their week!”

Alongside the frustration at the lack of wind, the issue is now focusing on the lack of supplies onboard. Both food and fuel are in short supply and in order to reduce tension onboard the Dragon everyone has been handed their food supply for the next few days so they can be responsible for their own intake! This is a common theme amongst all of the boats as rationing and a strict discipline with the food starts coming into effect!

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro ("River of January” in English), is the second largest city of Brazil and South America, behind São Paulo, and the third largest metropolitan area in South America, behind São Paulo and Buenos Aires. It is the state capital of Rio de Janeiro. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1822 during the Portuguese colonial era, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It is also the former capital of the Portuguese Empire (1808 - 1821). Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa, or “The Marvelous City”.

Leg Five Day 38: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 590 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +72
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +135
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +409
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +584

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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