At sea. Volvo Ocean Race: ABN AMRO One still powering away from movistar and the rest Print E-mail
Monday, 10 April 2006
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With speeds rising to over the 400 nautical miles in 24 hours mark, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is nearing the half way point of the race at rapid pace, causing thoughts to turn to not only the remainder of the leg but the rest of the race.

Andrew Cape, navigator on second placed movistar (Bouwe Bekking) has been considering the future for his team and although the majority of the miles have been sailed in the race, it is certainly not over for the battling teams. “With the fleet now back in the Northern Hemisphere you get the impression the race is near the end. The bulk of the distance has been travelled and certainly the most dangerous stages completed. The points scoring system for the remaining four smaller offshore legs allow the opportunity for a complete reshuffle of the minor standings. Dwelling on time again perhaps because I am now an old bugger, the Volvo Race has flown by and in two months time will be a memory like the others.”

As the weather looks likely to stay constant for next 24 hours, we should see no major tactical differences in the team’s routes, but as Paul Cayard pointed out, today, all is not lost in the race to the finish. Squalls are the only weather feature in these constant north-westerly trade winds, which affect the progress of the yachts.

“Last night there were plenty of squalls and, after getting hammered by one and losing five miles to the fleet on one sked, we managed to get the good side of the next two and make some big gains on the next sked, mostly on Ericsson who were right behind us all day.” Paul Cayard commented. “I am hoping for some squalls tonight so we can have a chance to break this routine with Brasil 1. As we approach the east coast, we will have to deal with more dynamic weather features and then there will be some options and decisions to make tactically.”

Unfortunately for Cayard, his team couldn’t break the routine with Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) last night, as the blue boat overhauled them, moving into third. Currently they are 11 nautical miles in front of the Pirates extending their lead, but similar to the rest of the fleet are losing on the leader. Yesterday, Horatio Carabelli spoke of how fired up the team was by their rival’s near proximity, “The fight with Pirates has motivated the whole crew and although Pirate Cayard and his Black Pearl and bunch of dead men’s chests are a tough herd to beat, we have been recovering precious miles, we can see him a couple of miles to windward. We are nearly all newcomers to this game, especially me, but the knowledge of Marcel van Triest has been really a helping hand at the wheel, sometimes we decide to try another way, but we realize that, really, the devil knows.”

On the race track this afternoon ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) has managed to pull away another seven nautical miles in six hours from movistar, and has pushed their 24 hour run up to 470 nautical miles. Movistar is the following practically the same route as the leader with Ericsson Racing Team (John Kostecki) furthest south of the lead pack with Pirates of the Caribbean and Brasil 1 sandwiched between the two.

Worryingly for the young guns on ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse), they have fallen back again by eleven nautical miles in six hours, now 167 nautical miles behind their sister boat. Simon Fisher speaks today of looking at the six hourly sked’s as ‘depression’ reports but at least they still have their sense of humour. A nomination for the Musto Seamanship award came in today from skipper, Sebastien Josse.

“Today Scott Beavis showed utmost most seamanship to bring some level of humanity back on board. With temperatures soaring into the 40’s and dehydration and heat stroke an imminent and likely danger, all the cooling fans went down onboard ABN AMRO TWO today.

“Without any thought of self preservation, Beavis dove into the sweltering cabin armed with nothing but his Kiwi ingenuity. Finding a faulting connector at the back of the starboard lower fan, he proceeded to remove the troublesome plug, strip the ends of the wire with his teeth and hard wire the fan and supply back together with his bare hands. It should be noted that the whole system was live and throughout the ordeal shocks of a heart stopping 12 volts were being experienced by Beavis. At one stage the entire 12 volt domestic system shorted out and went dead onboard, threatening even further the yacht and her crew.

“Locating the correct breaker was difficult as by this stage he was covered in sweat and it was running into his eyes. Thankfully he quickly remembered the safety briefing about which breaker was what, four down two across. Upon switching it on, the fans sprung to life with a cheer of relieve from the crew.”
Last Updated ( Monday, 10 April 2006 )
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