Volvo Ocean Race: Long drag race to Galway finish
[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] After all but Telefónica Black played their Stealth option overnight to cover the timing of the critical gybe, the fleet is now converging on the finish in Galway in what is promising to be dramatic ending to this trans-Atlantic leg from Boston, USA. Accordingly, Galway is prepared for a grandstand finish in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The sailing continues to be fast and wet, but it has been a thrilling and memorable ride across the Atlantic.
“Take what you most love doing in your life and keep doing it for hours and hours, day after day. That is how I would describe the sailing conditions at the moment. No matter what, this remains the best sailing in the world,” wrote an enthusiastic Gabriele Olivo, MCM onboard Telefónica Blue (6th place +52nm).
For team of Green Dragon, it will be a homecoming and the team is currently level pegging with PUMA for second place, their best showing so far on this 37,000 nm race around the world.
“The race now is all about speed. There are no tactical options,” said skipper Ian Walker who has extra people on deck to put every last drop of energy into the final miles to the finish. “I am sure no crew is willing their boat forwards more than ours right now,” he said.
Onboard Delta Lloyd, spirits are high. Although the team is in fifth place, it is so close, anything can happen. The team is focused, eager and determined. Navigator Wouter Verbraak sums up the final hours of this leg:
“The last two days have been intense, and we are all feeling the grunt of that. We have to keep pushing hard all the way to the end. This is what ocean racing is all about. The end of another marathon is drawing to a close, with it, the grand slam finale right in front of Galway. Perfect.”
With the speeds still topping 23 knots, routing software is currently predicting a finish for the first boat at just after 0100 GMT tomorrow morning.
Leg Seven Day 8: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
1. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTL 231 nm
2. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +39
3. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +39
4. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +52
5. Delta Lloyd NED (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +57
6. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) + 84
7. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +88