Monday, 16 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 29 QFB: received 14.03.09 2241 GMT

Sail changes in the Southern Ocean, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Bouwe Bekking (skipper)

It will be an interesting few days ahead for us, especially to follow what the leaders are going to do, with the tricky wind patterns ahead of them.

We can sit in the driving seat and just watch. For us it is a bit more straight forward, as we are sailing in another system and more or less only have one way to go to the Horn.

Finally last night we cleared the ice waypoint, and could gybe south, to sail into more pressure. Slowly but surely the breeze has been building and now we are in a steady 25 knots, making good progress.

The guys have done really well the last few days, considering the light air we had, just poking some s***t towards our navigator, who is starting the grow a few grey hairs. Welcome and join the club. It will be funny to see some pictures from the guys just before the start in Alicante and when we arrive in Rio, to see how much greyer everybody has become. Let’s blame the salt water for it and not the stress which we face sometimes.

Like today, it would so tempting to sail full noise, with all the canvas we have and just send it down the mines, but we are careful, and everybody on deck can see the big picture. Unless we arrive in one piece in Rio, we will never beat the other guys as we only have a small jib and from Rio onwards, we start with a clean piece of paper, as there are lots of points to be earned to the finish of the race.

Volvo Ocean Race

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