At Sea. Volvo Ocean Race: ABN AMRO's speed drops as the Dutch boat comes abreast of Dominica
Positions 1000 GMT Day 11
Photo: Positions 1000 GMT Day 11 - click picture to enlarge
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Wednesday, 12 April 2006
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As leg five leader, ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) draws level with the Caribbean island of Dominica, some 318 nautical miles to the west, her speed has dropped, which has allowed the chasing pack to eat up the miles towards the finish in Baltimore, USA. The leader’s advantage is reducing hourly, which puts enormous pressure on the team at the front.

The battle for third place has temporarily subsided as Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Cayard) snatched back nine miles and is now 16 miles ahead of Brasil 1 (Torben Grael), after a furious battle.

“Yesterday, we thought we had given a hard time to The Black Pearl and took about seven or eight miles in about eight hours,” explains Horacio Carabelli. “It has been more than 48 hours of battle, trying to hang on to third place and we have tried everything to speed up,” he says. Despite the pressure of close contact racing, the Brazilian team is loving the sailing. “The weather is just fantastic.” says Carabelli. “It’s nearly midnight and I just came off deck in bare feet, shorts and a t-shirt. What great sailing.”

In second place, movistar (Bouwe Bekking) is back on track, after having had a miserable time overnight when she lost out to the leader. Currently she is sailing over a knot faster than the Dutch boat, gaining eight miles on her in the last six hour period, which should improve the humour of the skipper.

“We had two shocking skeds (position reports) one after another, but then we knew that this would always happen. The guys behind us have more breeze. But it makes me very grumpy inside and I know that’s not good to show as it can influence them [the crew] in a bad way.” wrote Bekking early this morning.

Straight line sailing does not appeal to Bekking and he is counting down the distance to the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, where he hopes for an opportunity to catch and overtake Sanderson.

Ericsson is fifth place, a further 22 miles behind the Brazilian team, 100 miles behind ABN AMRO ONE, while happily for ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse), who has been languishing in last place, speed is back up and the crew is enjoying the trade wind sailing which, they hope, will bring them back into contention.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 April 2006 )
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