Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ericsson 4 regains lead in Volvo Ocean Race leg 5

[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Do the words:

Port tack
Cold weather

Ring any bells?

They do for us!

The temperature has dropped a fair amount today and one by one the kit bags have been emptying a fair amount as the first layer of thermals are put on.

We started the day within a mile or so of Puma and Ericsson 3 but as the convergence zone came then so did the rain and the clouds and the endless moments of being becalmed as we sat under clouds and lost site of our competitors as we all focus on the scoring gate to our south.

Life onboard Ericsson 4. South Pacific Ocean, 3 March 2009. Video copyright Ericsson Racing Team

It was also a tough moment for our Kiwis onboard who would love to stop home for a few days. This maybe a chance for Volvo to call us all in to NZ for a couple of days - I'm sure it would be extremely welcome around the fleet and may limit the amount of men in white coats required when we all eventually arrive in Rio! - not even half way yet!!!

So the big clouds became less frequent, not sure if these clouds were part of the long white one famous in this region, and we are now getting used to going upwind on port once more. The sea is starting to get choppy and we are starting to slam a little - but most of this is probably us getting used to the motion once more after the calm waters of the last week.

It's going to be nice to reach the scoring gate as psychologically this is the first hurdle and the others ( ice waypoints and Cape Horn ) should come frequently after that.

I'm definately worried about my guess at the Cape Horn arrival time in our onboard sweepstake - think I may have gone a little early - but who knows as when these boats get going its just a matter of head down and hang on as the miles dissipate.

At least with the first signs of the deteriorating conditions we know that the left turn and the east heading isn't too far away - which means the finish, families and freedom are just around the corner.

Guy Salter, Ericsson 4

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