Wednesday, 20 May 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 3 LEG SEVEN DAY 4 QFB: received 19.5.09 1428 GMT

Aksel Magdahl checks the weather on board Ericsson 3. Image copyright Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Aksel Magdahl (navigator)

Everything lined up perfectly for full points at the scoring gate until early yesterday morning when a couple of big whales appeared out of the thick fog. We managed to avoid the first one, but we only saw the tail of the next one as it dived just in front of us. We hit with both the keel and the daggerboard, and the boat came to a complete stop with some bad noises from our appendages. We could see that the keel fin fairings were damaged or off in a big area, but the daggerboard looked ok. We hope the whale got away only with some bruises; we did what we could to avoid it.

With the rough fin, we immediately lost our lead and slowly went to the back of the bunch with terrible performance numbers for the next 24 hours. When we tacked this morning, Anders went down to take a look at the daggerboard and it became apparent that also that had been significantly damaged in the impact. Actually, a piece of it was missing.

At the moment we have locked our radar on to Green Dragon and Delta Lloyd who are just in front of us, but they are slowly pulling away. Hopefully the frontrunners will get slowed down a bit rounding the exclusion zone, but the speed loss from the keel damage will follow us for the rest of the leg.

We have been worse off before in the race though, so spirits are OK.

Volvo Ocean Race

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