Wednesday, 15 April 2009

VOR: Green Dragon - Staying in Touch

Light and tricky on leg 3. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Lucy Harwood

The last 24 hours have seen yet another day of snakes and ladders as the fleet made progress overnight and this morning to close the gap on the leading boat Telefonica Blue. But the latest position report shows that the fleet have made losses, after one step forward it is a case of two steps back for the chasing boats. Ericsson 4 have moved up to second 8 miles behind the blue boat whilst the newly re-fitted Delta Lloyd is holding onto third. The rest of the fleet are staying close with 12 miles separating fourth to seventh. After the offshore position yesterday Green Dragon has moved further inshore and now find themselves in the middle of the fleet, the Ericsson twins remain close to the east with PUMA once again stuck nearby. You can see all the positions on the map here.

Speed across the fleet is consistent is they all head north east at around 11 knots, but conditions remain tricky. In an interview with the Dragon’s navigator Ian Moore last night he said, “We have a few patches of disturbed light air which are moving off the Brazillian mainland overnight and into tomorrow morning. Our focus is to make sure that we don’t get trapped by that and that we are far enough offshore to avoid it. The boats that are a little bit further forward probably won’t affected as much so we are just trying to stay in touch and make sure that we don’t fall off the back and wait for some opportunities further up the track”.

Conditions remains patchy as they fleet navigates through the potholes in the weather, it is anything but consistent. Whilst some boats have been caught in squalls over the last 36 hours, and as a result have damaged sails, Green Dragon seems to have had a relatively incident free start to Leg 6, “We haven’t had many squalls or anything like that, I think the most breeze we have had has been about 16 knots, and no repairs, no damage to the boat. A few guys managed to pick up man flu leaving Brazil, but that is about the most exciting thing that has happened so far!” Ian Moore.

Leg Six Day 4: 1500 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

1. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTF 4232 nm
2. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) + 8
3. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) + 14
4. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) + 20
5. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) + 21
6. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) + 25
7. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +32

Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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