Monday, 16 March 2009

VOR: A Wet and Wild Ride to Cape Horn for Green Dragon

Rough weather in the Southern Ocean 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 is Day 30 onboard Green Dragon and the crew are preparing themselves for the final route to Cape Horn. Current forecasts suggest that it is going to be a wet and wild ride to the scoring gate as they fleet are due to enter an area of low pressure with winds of up to 40 plus knots!

The easterly route that the Dragon took after the second ice gate has paid dividends as they have gained over 250 miles to the leading three boats and are now just 211 miles from the current leg leader Ericsson 3. Elsewhere Ericsson 4 and PUMA have also made significant gains, the Nordics’ sister ship is now just 33 miles from them. The drag race to Cape Horn is well and truly on, whilst the wounded Telefonica Blue is still playing catch up some 700 plus miles behind. The boost from the low pressure system has also meant that Green Dragon remains the only boat to post a 400-plus mile 24 hour run, they had covered 433 miles this morning.

In an interview this morning Green Dragon watch leader Damian Foxall talked about the compression of the fleet as they approach Cape Horn, “It is fantastic leg, a real oceanic leg with a lot going on. There are a lot of strategically options, with a big one coming up that is yet to play out.”

Leg Five Day 30: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 3111 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +33
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +92
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +211
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +709

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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