Ericsson 3 extends lead
[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Ericsson 3 continues to lay down a fast pace and now has opened a lead of more than 250 nautical miles at the head of the fleet on Leg 5.
Ericsson 3 this morning took advantage of the wind shift to the west/southwest, jibed to starboard and is making a course towards the western end of the second ice waypoint, at 45S and 120W.
At the 1300 GMT position report, Ericsson 3 had completed a 24-hour run of 500 nautical miles. Riding 25-knot winds, skipper Magnus Olsson and the Nordic crew led teammate Ericsson 4 by 272 miles. Puma was 329 miles back.
“All pleasant on Ericsson 4 as we surge downwind in a slightly confused, but large rolling sea,” said media crewman Guy Salter. “We’re waiting for the flood of miles to Ericsson 3 to stop and for us to start chiseling back a few - after all, the Nordic boys have done really nice work and there are a hell of a lot of miles for us to try and claw back!”
Ericsson 4's Stu Bannatyne comments on current ocean conditions. South Pacific Ocean, 10 March 2009. Video copyright Ericsson Racing Team
The following winds are sending the fleet quickly eastward, a welcome development for the crews who spent five days in upwind or reaching conditions last week, the wettest points of sail on the yachts.
Cape Horn lies an estimated 2,500 nautical miles away, and the crews are getting anxious for the rounding. As the lead boat, Ericsson 3 could pass the rocky outcrop on Sunday or Monday. Cape Horn is also the second scoring gate on the leg, making it a valuable marker on the course. Four points will be awarded to the first boat through the gate, and a half-point less for each boat thereafter.
Onboard the yachts the crews likely have pools going for their rounding. One such crew is aboard Ericsson 4, whose predictions are posted on a special Web site that can be accessed from the panel on the home page of this Web site.
Simply pick the crewman that you think has guessed properly and you could win official team foul-weather gear from Helly-Hansen.
“A lot of chat today about our little sweepstakes on Cape Horn arrival - surprising how many of the lads think they have got the time spot on,” said Salter. “Anyway letting you in on who is really confident – let’s just say look at our Aussie and one of the multi-rounding Kiwis.”
Telefonica Blue's crew carry out a better repair of the mainsail. South Pacific Ocean, 10 March 2009. Video copyright Equipo Telefonica
VOLVO OCEAN RACE LEG 5 LEADERBOARD
(Mar. 9, 2009, 1259 GMT)
1. Ericsson 3, 4,762 nautical miles to finish
2. Ericsson 4, +272 NM
3. Puma, +329 NM
4. Green Dragon, +475 NM
5. Telefónica Blue, +651 NM