At Sea. Volvo Ocean Race: An awesome sight is how movistar's Bekking describes ABN AMRO 1 overtaking Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 April 2006
Bouwe Bekking:


A very exciting last 40 miles into Fernando Island for the crew of movistar and one we won't forget soon either. ABN was closing in quickly, in these reaching conditions. All was looking safe, but then with about 30 miles to go, we parked up under a huge rain cloud. When the rain eased away, I nearly had a "heart attack: they had sailed through without any problems and halved our lead in no time. Game on from that point, we pushed as hard as possible with our big code 0 up, wind varying between 8 to 15 knots. If the breeze was over 12 knots, the black boat was much faster. Under that we could hold, but only just.

With 7 miles to go, I knew we would manage to hold them off. We didn't have much time to look at the beautiful island. At 2051 GMT we passed the scoring gate, one big cheer and carried on, as we were close to setting a spinnaker once rounding the island. Capey (Andrew Cape) let us go in between some rock's, cutting the distance to a minimum. Then the spinnaker went up on movistar, quickly followed by ABN. Then it was some close sailing for several minutes, but ABN were hard on our heels. I have to admit, even how much I hated this happening to us, it was a pretty awesome sight when then rolled over the top of us, with a boat length in between us ....raw power!!!

As it was night time we were not able to respond like we did in Wellington, as we sail from sunset to sunrise under a different set of rules than the normal yacht racing rules. At night you have to maintain your course when another vessel is overtaking you. Once they passed us, we hooked onto their massive stern wave and our boat speed jumped up quickly, the performance went up by 20 %, no wonder they got passed us so quickly. But they must scratch their head, so much quicker and still movistar had been so long ahead.

There is a long way ahead of us, but we are very pleased with this result and there will be some tricky scenario's we have to tackle. The Volvo 80 (ABN One) will gain a lot in the trades, but the race is not over until we finish in Baltimore.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 April 2006 )
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