USA. Volvo Ocean Race: Brasil 1 fourth yacht to arrive in Baltimore
Torben Grael:© Daniel Markus / Brasil 1
Photo: Torben Grael:© Daniel Markus / Brasil 1 - click picture to enlarge
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Tuesday, 18 April 2006
Bruno Doro ZDL:

Brasil 1 arrived in fourth place in Baltimore, USA, on Tuesday. The Brazilian crew has been competing since April 2nd, when they left Guanabara Bay for the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the most traditional round-the-world race. ABN Amro One, the leader of the competition, finished this leg on Monday afternoon.

The fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has been marked by a lot of position changes. The last two days were the toughest on the Brazilian crew. Brasil 1 and Ericsson got almost together to the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. Torben Grael and his crew spent the last hours of the leg marking Ericsson’s move, as in a match race competition.

“The last 24 hours were terrible. Everyone is really exhausted. We were all working on deck for the whole day and didn't had a minute to rest, always checking were the other boats where. This result is good for the team's morale. We fought for so long for this fourth place and winning it is a confidence boost for the next legs”, Grael, a two time Olympic champion, said. With the fourth place finish, Brasil 1 maintains 5th place overall, with 34 points.

Brasil 1’s leg was full of incidents. The team’s start in Rio wasn’t good. They crossed the start line before the gunshot and had to come back and make a restart. After getting to the scoring gate of Fernando de Noronha in fifth place the Brazilians got a speed boost and battled with Pirates of the Caribbean for the third place. “We were fast and sailing a good race, but somconsige sail problems occurred. Our big spinnaker was damaged twice. Our sail coordinator Stu Wilson fixed it once but could do nothing on the second time. From there on we had to sail with a smaller one”, Grael explained.

The Brazilians sailed in fifth place until they overcame Ericsson 100 miles from the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay during a storm. “We had our spinnaker up until the last minute. After the storm came we had lots of wind. One time I looked to the panel and there was 50 knots! But we worked really well and could get past Ericsson”.

Inside the Chesapeake Bay, they had another problem. The boat stopped with a fishing buoy attached to the keel. “We lost some minutes trying to get rid of it and saw Ericsson approaching. From that point on we always sailed with them on our backs. Seeing each other”, helmsman André Fonseca recalls.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 April 2006 )
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