Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ericsson 3 completes Volvo Ocean Race fleet arrival into Galway

[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Ericsson Racing Team’s Nordic crew aboard Ericsson 3 completed the fleet arrival into Galway this morning.

Ericsson 3 finished at 0558:59 GMT and totaled 4.5 points on the leg: 2.5 points for fourth at the scoring gate and 2 points for placing seventh on the leg. Ericsson 3 has 60 points overall and remains in fourth place. Ericsson 3 completed the passage from Boston in 7 days, 12 hours, 38 minutes and 59 seconds.

“I’m very disappointed. We’re all disappointed,” said skipper Magnus Olsson. “It’s going to hurt for two or three days, and then we’ll forget about this. We sailed boat very well. We just didn’t make it this time.”

The Ericsson boats finish leg 7. North Atlantic Ocean, 24 May 2009. Video Ericsson Racing Team

Ericsson 3 had a fantastic beginning to the leg. The crew enjoyed the tight reaching in the first 30 hours of the leg and either held the lead or was in the battle for it for a day and a half.

The moment of the leg for Ericsson 3 occurred on Monday, the third day of the leg. That’s when Ericsson 3 collided with a whale, damaging its port side daggerboard and the keel fin. The crew replaced the daggerboard with the spare it had onboard, but the damage to the keel fin couldn’t be repaired.

“We had a loss in performance after hitting the whale,” said navigator Aksel Magdahl. “On average it was about a 10 percent loss in performance. We think we sailed well, but we could see pieces of the leading edge and trailing edge falling off the faster we went.”

Later in the leg Ericsson 3 had a chance to gain some places. The Nordic crew split to the north and west along with Ericsson 4 and initially made some gains on a pack of boats that stayed to the east, but Magdahl said they mistimed their jibe to the finish because they doubted their boatspeed.

“That was really good at first because we caught up on the guys in the east,” Magdahl said. “But then we got a little greedy. It looked at one point like light winds at the finish, so we held our jibe later. If it went light it might’ve worked out, but it stayed windy to the end.”

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