Wednesday, 20 May 2009

VOR: A Good Day Onboard as Green Dragon Moves into Second Place

Skipper Ian Walker and Ian Budgen share a joke onboard Green Dragon. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing.

by Lucy Harwood

It is all change in the fleet as they make their way around the ice exclusion zone. Green Dragon’s more southerly position has paid as they decided to focus on making up ground on the fleet before the downwind conditions set in and in doing so ignored the scoring gate for the bigger battle ahead. This has certainly paid off as they have gained over 40 miles on the fleet and now lay in second place, behind current leader Telefonica Black. The other boats passed through the scoring gate with Telefonica Blue taking full points, with PUMA just 30 seconds behind and Ericsson 4 in third, Green Dragon will pick up their points a little later when they cross it. “Our sole aim has been to stay in touch before the downwind sailing starts. The forecast is for all downwind from the second ice gate and for much of that to be in very windy conditions,” Skipper Ian Walker.

So a compression has occurred with just 10 miles separating front to back. The fleet are now all on port tack and they must now negotiate the shifty conditions that line the edge of the ice exclusion zone, approximately 175 nm long, but they must still keep a careful lookout for ice. They will then head north once more and hopefully hook into the expected low pressure that will slingshot them towards Galway. The northeast corner of the box has today been extended to latitude 40 degrees west, due to ice sightings in the region.

Scoring Gate Order
1. Telefónica Blue at 03:11.24 GMT
2. PUMA at 03:12.04 GMT
3. Ericsson 4 at 03:33.05 GMT
4. Ericsson 3 at 04:06.02 GMT
5. Telefónica Black at 04:36.54 GMT
6. Delta Lloyd at 06:16.00 GMT

Leg Seven Day 4: 1600 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
1. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DTL 1840 nm

2. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +6
3. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +8
4. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +9
5. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +9
6. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +9
7. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +10

Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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