Tough times aboard Ericsson 3
[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Not so happy days
There is everything but happy days on Ericsson 3 for the moment. Not that we are angry with each other, but we have been stuck behind the other boats on the wrong side of a low pressure. They have been sailing downwind in a lot of wind, while we have more or less been lying still. That makes your mood turn a bit on the low side.
In every tack we have dragged sails around and fought like crazy and now all the small gains we may have made by stacking hard are long, long gone.
In other sports you can throw your racket, scream at the referee, pick a fight with your opponents or get changed for another player. Here you are left alone with 10 other guys who have the exact feelings as you, and there is absolutely no point of doing anything than just cheer each other up and try to recover the losses and make up a new game plan. There are no opponents to fight with, no referee to blame and no one waiting for you on the bench.
Can you go backwards? English Channel, 8 June 2009. Video copyright Ericsson Racing Team
As in every other bad situation onboard, when things go wrong and things break, we are stuck with ourselves and just have to deal with it.
The conditions have been very tricky going through the English Channel. First we were in front of Ericsson 4 and PUMA and then suddenly they got a lift from behind and overtook us. Yesterday the same thing happened to us and we passed them again.
Some guys call that luck and bad luck…
The last 12 hours have also been pretty extreme. We have planned to tack and stacked and made everything ready just to cancel it in the last second because of a big lift.
The last three hours have been the worst. We have had everything from 25 knots on the nose, bumping upwind for a couple of hours, to no wind at all, lying still. Now we are sailing downwind with our biggest gennaker, doing 15 knots of boatspeed.
We have lost miles and miles to the others and we are now 30 miles behind our sistership and 15 miles behind Telefónica Blue, which is the closest boat.
This is a bit of a nightmare situation and we just have to keep our heads above the surface, try to get some sleep when we can, struggle on and earn every metre we can with perfect helming and trimming and get back in the game.