Wednesday, 25 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 39 QFB: received 24.03.09 2205 GMT

Boots are changed for shoes, onboard Telefonica Blue, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Simon Fisher (helmsman)

It has been a good day today. Despite light winds that have been threatening to thwart our progress, we have been making modest speeds for much of the day and, as a result, are still closing on Rio and our nearest rivals Green Dragon. With now only 50 miles to Green Dragon, the race is very much on and it has given us plenty of added excitement to the finale to this leg. What could have been a case of just counting down the miles to Rio has become for us an exciting duel to the finish. The next 24 hours however will be pretty telling as we continue to negotiate our way through the mine field of high pressure that still lies ahead of us.

In spite of the slowed progress, the light winds do bring some advantages though. We are now thoroughly dried out after the rigours of the Southern Ocean and 4-6 knots and flat water make for excellent sleeping conditions which is something that is definitely welcomed by everyone. However, despite the increased comfort in the sleeping bag, we are all hoping that these light winds won't last too much longer and we can get to more reliable breeze sometime tomorrow.

With that said, I'm off now to my bunk to enjoy some sleep and listen to a few tunes on my iPod before getting up in a few hours to coax the boat ever closer to Rio!

Volvo Ocean Race

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