Tuesday, 14 April 2009

VOR: DELTA LLOYD LEG SIX DAY 3 QFB: received 13.04.09 1022 GMT

Delta Llloyd, on leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Image copyright Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Wouter Verbraak (navigator)

“Guys we have entered race two. Speed, speed, speed!!”

Before the leg start we have divided the leg up into different races. Each race has its own goal and strategy, and gives us something to focus on. The first race from Rio to Cabo Frio on the SE tip of Brazil is now firmly behind us, and it is with a sigh of relieve that we are starting race two.

Speed, speed, speed is our goal to the race two finish line at the first waypoint of the island of Fernando de Noronha. No big moves to be made, just focus on the boat speed. With the breeze varying between 12 and 16 knots and oscillating in direction as well, the grinding of the mainsheet is a constant and we are locking into the boat speed targets as never before. Two per cent below targets means alarm bells going off, trimming torches out and a full check of the sails.

Even though we are not making top speeds, the progress towards the mark is good as we only need to get a bit more offshore. What a difference from leg five when we were hardly ever pointing at the mark as we were jumping through the hoops of the different weather systems.

So, with the miles ticking off nicely, the mood on the boat is great. Day three is always a huge improvement from days one and two. Everybody had a chance to catch up with lost sleep, meals are defining the rhythm of the day, and even coffees are being made for the next watch.

We have had some minor technical issues that are hardly worth mentioning, and they are all solved. A true tribute to the hard work that our shore crew has put in over the last month. The goal was always to not only catch up with the outstanding job list, but also to make a solid step forward in all area’s ranging from electronics, to food, logistics and sails. Not an easy thing to do, as these boats are incredibly technical with every small change involving a great deal of careful planning, execution and testing. Shore crew: well done. We hope you had a great ‘thank God there gone party’.

At the same time, we all realise that there is no rest for the wicked as the more powerful new generation boats will, without a doubt, be soon breathing down our neck, but we are determined to put in a good fight and get to our second finish line in good shape. The Delta Lloyd and its crew are in great shape, beware!

Volvo Ocean Race

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