There were no surprises in the finishes posted by the 17 Twelves who completed only a single race today at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship. After sailing out to the old America’s Cup racecourse off Brenton Point, the wind speed took a nosedive as it changed direction from WSW to NNW, leaving the competitors drifting for close to two hours. With one race completed, the four divisions were given a combined start for the Candy Store Cup, sending them on a course back into Newport Harbor to the finish line at Bannister’s Wharf. The wind, however, continued to be uncooperative and the race was abandoned when the Twelves were unable to make the time limit for the race.
Yesterday, racing in the Modern division was quite contentious, with the outcome of numerous protests resulting in Challenge 12 and Courageous each picking up a DSQ when the jury decisions did not go in their favor and causing a complete shake up in the results for that division. Unscathed by the protests, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.) at the helm of Victory ’83 is reaping the benefit of having assembled a crew that includes several who have sailed together for close to 30 years, including Heart of America veterans Wally Henry (San Diego, Calif.) and Jim Gretzky (Storrs, Conn.), along with three father and son pairs – Jerry and Rome Kirby, Bill and Randy Shore (all Newport, R.I.) and Larry and Matt Mialik (both Madison, Wisc.), making for a well-oiled effort as evidenced by the 1-1-2 they posted on day one.
Peter Stalkus (Newport, R.I.), navigator aboard Victory ’83, has the distinction of having been navigator with four America’s Cup campaigns (’80 Clipper, ’83 Defender, ’87 USA 61 and ’97 Young America). His take on Victory ‘83’s impressive performance here is that Dennis Williams, its owner, has been meticulous in his approach. “The boat is well prepared and it shows,” said Stalkus after the team picked up their third win in four races. “It has good speed and we’ve practiced ahead of time.”
While the fallout from the protest decisions catapulted Intrepid from fifth into second and Freedom from fourth to third, today’s result did not do much to help either. Intrepid added a fifth-place finish today and dropped back to fourth overall, while the Freedom’s fourth-place finish held them in place. For Courageous, who had slipped from third to fourth overall after the protest, their second-place finish today moved them up to second overall. Challenge 12, dropping from second place to fifth after the protest results, was third in today’s race and did not move in the overall standings.
Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic, leads the Grand Prix division, while tied on points – six each – with Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) on Wright on White. In the Traditional division, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) on Weatherly leads with six points, three ahead of American Eagle being driven by Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.). Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.) on Northern Light is leading by one point over Gleam, driven by Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), in the Vintage division.
Images By George Bekris
(click on image to enlarge)
Legends Forums – The Legends Forums are a unique sidebar to the 2009 12 Metre Worlds, bringing together the biggest names of the America’s Cup 12 Metre era for question-and-answer sessions moderated by Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977 and went on to become the voice of sailing for television. Held after racing each day dockside at Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves, with a finale forum planned for Sunday, as well, at the awards ceremony at Harbour Court, the forums are designed to include representation from a varied – and knowledgeable – group of personalities in the categories of Syndicate Representative, Crew, Design, Journalist and Other Notables. On opening day, the panel included Skip Lissiman (AUS), Gianfranco Alberini (ITA), Russell Coutts (NZL), and Americans Charlie Hovey, Harry Anderson, Dave Pedrick, Andy MacGowan, Bill Koch and Dick Enerson. The questions ran the gamut from “Who was the best 12 Metre skipper?” (all of them who won, it was decided in consensus) and “What was the best Twelve ever?” (Intrepid for being the biggest departure, changing all future designs) to “What will win the next America’s Cup, a trimaran or a catamaran?” (that one was a toss-up). Clearly, the audience was enjoying the up close-and-personal encounter, and they lingered to talk about the exchanges long after the luminaries had left, some even discussing what questions would be best to ask a different group tonight.
Racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 25, and concludes Saturday, September 26.
2009 12 Metre Worlds Results for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points
Division I – Grand Prix
1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1, 6
2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2, 6
3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-3, 12
4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4, 17
Division 2 – Modern
1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1, 5
2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-DSQ-2, 13
3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4, 14
2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5, 14
5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), DSQ-4-3-3, 16
Division 3 – Traditional
1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2, 6
2. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2-1, 9
3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3, 10
4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4, 15
5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS-5, 21
Division 4 – Vintage
1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2, 6
2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2-1, 7
3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-DNS-3, 13
Photo by George Bekris
(click on image below to view gallery)
Athena, the 295′ Huisman yacht and this year’s race committee boat, was even hard to make out in the foggy start conditions on Saturday for the first race start . Soon after the start the sea breezes kicked in and blew the fog out leaving a beautiful New England summer day. The breeze held for the afternoon at around 20kts. The 19 boat Bucket Regatta fleet flew around the course in the ideal conditions.
Timoneer, the 147′ DuBois/Vitters Ketch, dominated the day. Her seasoned crew racing flawlessly and furnishing first by 5 minutes. The new Perini Navi Performance 125′ Sloop, P2, came in second.
The two J Class yacht entries Ranger and the newly launched Hanuman (Endeavour II) were reminiscent of the old America’s Cup days with their beautiful long lines. The New Hanuman took third place after a close contest between the two boats. They beat Ranger ,who placed fourth, by only 38 seconds. Avalon finished fifth, followed 13 seconds later by the Swan 100, Virago in 6th, and the Swan 80, Selene 36 seconds later in 7th.
(click on images to enlarge)
Broken down into classes the results were: Les Gazelles des Mers (Racing Division), P2 finished first, Hanuman second, with Ranger in third place. Among Les Grandes Dames des Mers (Cruising Division), Timoneer is in first place, Avalon in second and Taza Mas in third place.
It was hard to tell which boat team won the party following the race. Clearly a great time was had by all the crews.
In another Bucket first, the 156′ Pendennis Shipyards, MITSEAAH, engineered to power at over twenty knots and sail with respectable performance, was challenged on day one in keeping up with the racing yachts on the upwind leg. Respecting the fact that the Bucket is also here to showcase the best attributes of each yacht while cultivating good racing, MITSEAAH was invited to start the race under full power, then execute a high speed 360 degree turn and roar off to the windward mark, where she re-converted to a sailing yacht, shut down the power and got into the race! Her left-field handicap worked well too; she crossed the finish line in fifth position.
Sunday’s racing started out with Mitseeah blasting across the start line at 20 kts without a bit of sail up.
The racing started out with light wind but sea breezes filled in during the afternoon. Summer Wind placed first, followed by Taza Mas in second , Sea Diamond took third for Sundays racing.
Jerry Kirby must not have gotten enough sailing time in during the Volvo Ocean Race. He was onboard Hanuman as Bowman.
These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races
Les Gazelles (Racing Class)
3rd Wild Horses
Les Grand Dames (Cruising Class)
2nd Taza Mas
All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbouw
(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report Magazines)
At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew. This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard. Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.
Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy
The Vitters Seamanship Trophy is awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course. All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance. This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding. It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!
The Chippewa Bomb
On Sunday night in St. Petersburg, the final prizegiving was an opportunity to remember and celebrate all that has happened on this magnificent adventure.
It was an emotional evening, with all of the teams, their families and friends finally able to truly relax after living in the pressure-cooker of the past nine months. It was also time to say goodbye, with most of the teams disbanding as early as Monday, airplane tickets taking them to all corners of the globe already in hand, booked months in advance.
The most poignant moment came with the inaugaral awarding of the Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy, which was created in memory of Hans, who was lost at sea during the last edition of the race. The Dutchman was washed over the side of ABN AMRO TWO on the transatlantic leg. He had played a key role in ABN AMRO’s unique and ambitious project to help young talent break into the top level of offshore sailing.
His wife, Petra, was on hand to present the award and her emotional speech saw even the most hardened of sailors wiping tears from their eyes.
The award was created to recognise a rookie sailor who was younger than 30 when the event commenced. Each skipper was asked to nominate a who has shown a significant drive to make an improvement to their own skills and to the skills of the team and who has shown a significant contribution in strengthening the team onboard. The Race Committee made a selection from those nominated.
Images by Rick Tomlinson and Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race
(click on image to enlarge)
The winner of the inaugural Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy is Michi Mueller from PUMA Ocean Racing, whom skipper Ken Read said had grown from a raw, untested rookie, into a linch-pin of the team.
It was a good night for PUMA as the Inmarsat Media Prize went to Rick Deppe, who was recognised for his outstanding work across the entire race. Deppe won the prize for leg 10 (his fourth win), as well as the overall prize (which included a cheque for 10,000 euros), and he was quick to pay tribute to his colleagues, asking all of the media crew members to join him on stage.
Presenting the prize, Perry Melton, COO, Inmarsat said: “The Volvo Ocean Race selected Fleet Broadband before its launch. They have described its global performance as flawless. We are delighted that the innovation of media crew members was paired with our newest service to deliver media coverage from the harshest of maritime conditions.”
The advent of the media crew members has allowed the race to secure HD footage that has never been recorded in past races, when regular crew were asked to to double duty as media men as well. In this race, the media crew members have not been allowed to participate in the sailing of the boat. As a result, they are more like ‘embedded reporters’, bringing the true story of their teams to life.
Deppe wasn’t the only media crew recognised on the night. Green Dragon’s Guo Chaun was presented with a new market media award in recognition of the media interest generated across China.
The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award was given to the PUMA Ocean Racing shore crew (Neil Cox, Sean Healey, Will Oxley and Kimo Worthington) for rending assistance to Telefonica Blue, after they ran aground at the start of Leg 9 in Marstrand.
And finally, to the sailing teams themselves. All eight teams were recognised for their achievements while Ericsson 4, the winner of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, was presented with the ‘Fighting Finish’ trophy by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, patron of the Volvo Ocean Race; a just reward for a team that has dominated the competition, securing the overall title in Stockholm, with one in-port race, and one offshore leg to spare.
In closing the ceremonies, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad paid tribute to his team in addition to all of the sailing teams and was already looking forward to the start of the next race, in 2011 in Alicante, Spain.
Following the formalities, the celebrations started in full force and continued long into the night and indeed well into the morning. With no more racing scheduled, there was no reason to stop the party. Until next time, this is, the end of the road.
Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 Prizes
Best 24-hour run - Ericsson 4, 596.6 nautical miles
Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy - Michi Mueller, PUMA Ocean Racing
Inmarsat Media Prize – Rick Deppe, PUMA Ocean Racing
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award - PUMA Ocean Racing shore crew
Volvo Ocean Race, 3rd place – Telefonica Blue
Volvo Ocean Race, 2nd place – PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race, 1st place – Ericsson 4
It was an historic moment tonight in St Petersburg, Russia, when as the
White Night turned to dawn the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, led by Telefónica
Black in a thrilling climax, crossed the tenth and final finish line of
this nine-month, 37,000 nm race around the world.
Spanish skipper, Fernando Echávarri said, ³It¹s a prize for all the crew and
all the shore crew. We have been trying to do it in all the legs but
couldn¹t; this was our last chance. We had a nice battle with PUMA in the
last 100 miles. We are really happy.
“It has been really difficult. We prepared the boat for light conditions and
the first 150 miles we had more wind than expected so we suffered a lot.
Then it got lighter and we got faster. We have been fighting with PUMA,
Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 3 for the last 250 miles. It has been really
close. It has been like a match race. I don¹t know how many tacks we have
done! It is a great way to finish the Volvo Ocean Race. I am really proud of
everyone in the group. They have done an excellent job.”
Victory for Telefónica Black was hard-fought and a match race developed with
PUMA, who had led the fleet for the majority of this 400-mile sprint from
Stockholm. At just after midnight GMT and while on the additional triangle
added to lengthen the course, Telefónica Black gained a small advantage,
which translated into a two and a half boat length win, denying PUMA a
second leg win in a row. However, with a total of 105.5 points, PUMA takes
second place overall.
PUMA skipper Kenny Read said: “Congratulations to all those guys, they have
worked very hard for their first leg win. We will take our second and our
second overall. You know what? We just sailed around the world. I guess I
said a thousand times that we know no other way but to make it hard for
ourselves. It¹s a shame, because we usually win these close battles and
today we didn¹t.
“The big picture is we finished this race, everyone is safe and the boat has
been spectacular. We flew the flag well for Volvo and I think we flew the
flag well for PUMA. We have everything to be proud of. Relief is the right
word. Right now, it is relief and, as always, we are a pretty tired group
onboard. Let the celebrations begin because all the group deserves it.”
Images by Dave Kneale and Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race
(click on image to enlarge )
Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) filled the third spot both on leg 10 and
overall, to close the team¹s account on 98 points.
Bekking said on finishing: “We’re tired and hungry! It has been full on.
Lots of tacking. It was a beautiful leg in that it was sunny. But we have
been a bit unlucky. That¹s how it goes. But well done to the Telefónica
Black boys, they deserved to win. They had a superb leg. Good for them. We
were all very close. It is a very nice feeling to have finished and got all
the boys home safely. We had a podium finish which is nice as well.”
Fourth place finishers tonight and fourth overall with 78.5 points was
Ericsson 3 and Swedish skipper, Magnus Olsson was exhausted. “I feel so
tired I cannot say anything! Everybody is happy because they have sailed
around the world, but they are also very tired. After a day or two we can
say more intelligent things. You always want to do well in every leg, but
this was special because it was the short one and the last one. We were up
there so we are happy, but we couldn¹t keep up until the finish. They beat
us fair and square.”
Runaway overall leaders, with a final tally of 114.5 points and nine points
clear of PUMA, Torben Grael and his 10 crew of Ericsson 4 finished this leg
in fifth place. In an interview with Guy Swindells, skipper Torben Grael,
who raced every offshore leg with the same crew, was reflective in his
comments as overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 finally became a
“I think it is a mixed feeling because we know this is the end of the story
for the project. It¹s a funny feeling because some of these guys you have
never met before and you become like brothers. Now we go our own ways and
it¹s a strange feeling.
“On the other hand it has been a long race. It was a very long race around
the world. We are completely drained and tired so I think everyone is
looking forward to a nice rest. We have had a wonderful time. We enjoyed our
training time in Lanzarote and the race as well. We have had our ups and
downs, but it has been fun. After we won, it was a bit of a relaxing leg. It
has been so intense and so consuming so I think it is normal that after you
achieve your goals you relax. I am very glad for Telefónica Black and
Fernando and his guys for winning this last leg.”
Green Dragon kept her slender lead over Delta Lloyd to finish the leg in
sixth place, and fifth overall with 67 points.
To conclude the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, Delta Lloyd, the only generation
one Volvo Open 70 to compete in the race, finished shortly after Green
Dragon to finish the race on a total of 41.5 points.
Skipper Roberto Bermúdez said: ³We made a good job and everyone enjoyed
their time. Everyone is happy and that is the most important thing. It
started well but then there was some fighting with the Dragons. They did a
fantastic job with the manoeuvres and I say congratulations to them for
that. It has been fun.²
Ian Walker, skipper of Green Dragon, should have the last word:
³It is a privilege to sail in this fantastic race and I am very proud to
have had the chance. I am proud of every member of our team, and I am proud
of what we have achieved together. We promised to give it everything and to
never, ever give up and that is exactly what we have done. We haven¹t won
this race, but we have won many battles and achieved more than many dreamed
possible. It has been a very special year.²
The full story of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is chronicled in Mark
Chisnell¹s book, Spanish Castle to White Night, published in October. Order
your copy now: http://www.volvooceanrace.org/multimedia/book/
Overall Leaderboard (provisional)
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 114.5 points
2. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 105.5 points
3. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 98.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 78.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 67.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 58.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 41.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points
Leg Ten Finishing Order St Petersburg
1. Telefónica Black
3. Telefónica Blue
4. Ericsson 3
5. Ericsson 4
6. Green Dragon
7. Delta Lloyd
Telefonica Black skippered by Fernando Echavarr
Telefonica Wins Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race In St Petersburg just minutes ago after a fierce battle between them and PUMA Ocean Racing for the last miles of the race.
TELEFONICA BLACK finished at 00:41:25 GMT – Elapsed leg time 1 day, 12 hours, 41 minutes 25 seconds – Total Race Time 87 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes 20 seconds
In the final run-in to the finish, Telefonica Black on starboard crosses in front of PUMA by 2.5 boat-lengths, and allows PUMA to carry on out to the south and tack on what looks like a layline to the finish.
Telefonica Black tacks onto port, and now has to maintain enough of their early advantage to cross clear in front as they come back together, as Ken Read has the right of way now PUMA has tacked to starboard.
Telefonica Black crosses in front of PUMA and tacks. Ken Read goes for speed and tries to get through to leeward. Both boats can sail straight to the finish, so it’s all about who has their bow forward. It’s Telefonica Black, quicker, and pulling out to a couple of lengths lead. It’s Telefonica Black, taking Leg 10.
“It’s a prize for all of the crew, all of the shore crew. We have been trying to do it in all the legs but couldn’t; this was our last chance. We had a nice battle with PUMA in the last 100 miles. We are really happy.
“It has been really difficult. We prepared the boat for light conditions and the first 150 miles we had more wind than expected so we suffered a lot. Then it got lighter and we got faster. We have been fighting with PUMA and Blue and Ericsson for the last 250 miles. Really close. It has been like a match race. I don’t know how many tacks we have done! It is a great way to finish the Volvo Ocean Race. I am really proud of everyone in the group. They have done an excellent job.”
PUMA, who is now assured second place overall, led the Volvo fleet out of Sandhamn, on the outer edge of the Stockholm archipelago today – a spectacular day where conditions were perfect for the start of the tenth and final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 to St Petersburg in Russia.
Sailing confidently in 10 -12 knots of breeze, PUMA, Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4 were the front runners off the start line and a huge spectator crowd needed no excuse to get out on the water and watch what these ocean greyhounds do best. A steady breeze and flat water ensured plenty of white water spilled from the bows as the boats started a leg for the last time, fully powered up and under a cloudless sky.
Leading round both buoys marking the traditional ‘sausage’ before heading to out to sea, the crew of PUMA had set the black boat up perfectly and extended their lead, while behind, Bouwe Bekking’s bowmen wrestled with their heavy code zero sail, which had remained furled and unused on the bow and was slowing the blue boat down. Green Dragon scorched past overall race winner Ericsson 4, who had the pressure put on by sister ship Ericsson 3, while Telefónica Black and Delta Lloyd were in the second string.
Team Russia joined the pack once the racing fleet had completed the inshore loop, to sail, but not to race, homewards to St Petersburg, with owner Oleg Zherebtsov working the bow as he did in the earlier legs of the race.
Although speeds were good as the fleet left Sweden behind, the leg is expected to be predominantly upwind to Russia and race rules allow for Race Director, Jack Lloyd, to shorten the 400-mile course if necessary. The fleet must arrive in St Petersburg on Saturday morning in order to clear customs and pass through two bridges, which will be raised specially in order to let the fleet into the historic city.
PUMA has now clinched second place overall, their performance improving hugely in the second half of the race. Telefónica Blue will take third after losing the battle for second when they finished last in leg nine after going aground in Marstrand, while Ericsson 4 is the runaway leader, winning the race with a leg to spare.
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 110.5 points
2. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 98.5 points
3. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 92.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 73.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 64.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 50.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 39.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points
TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG TEN DAY 1 QFB: received 25.6.09 2044 GMT
We just tacked with Ericsson 4 just few minutes after us. The last three hours have been a bit up and down, the wind was shifting quite a bit from something like 20 to 60 degrees TWD. The two Ericsson boats managed to climb up quite well on us thanks to some lifting puffs and we did the same thing to PUMA. We’re only 200 metres in front of Ericsson 4, nearly one mile in front of Ericsson 3 and same distance behind PUMA. We’re now all on port for another 30 minutes or so, after that we’ll all tack again towards the channel. Everyone is hiking hard pushing the boat. It’s going to be pretty long.
Gabri Olivo – MCM
GREEN DRAGON LEG TEN DAY 1 QFB: received 25.06.09 1616 GMT
Here we go again – sailing upwind and slowly losing miles. I will not miss this when the race ends. Fortunately, it cannot last for days, as St Petersburg is less than 300 miles away.
What a great city Stockholm is – it is definitely another place on my list that I will need to come and visit again. That city is built to host maritime events and the Archipelago is built for cruising. After the long but picturesque motor to the start off Sandhamn, we made a good start to the leg and enjoyed holding off Ericsson 4 and others for a leg or two. Now everybody is engaged in a drag race on port tack and we are nearly halfway to Estonia. Hopefully, something will change in the weather at some point to shake up proceedings. For now, it is a question of doing the best we can to stay in touch with the other boats. The conditions are perfect with flat water, medium winds and sunshine – who knows maybe we can get to St Petersburg without getting wet?
Ian Walker – skipper
ERICSSON 3 LEG TEN DAY 1 QFB: received 25.06.09 1800 GMT
I was a bit pessimistic in the first blog. I guess I was tired and Stockholm was too good to leave without a sad feeling. But once we got outside Sandhamn to the starting area, the mood got better.
Sun, flat water and 15 knots of breeze would make anyone happy. Unfortunately, we did not come of the start line in a good way. We were stuck with no speed and our poor positioning did not improve by an override with the sheet for the headsail. But we sorted it out quickly and once we had rounded the last mark, we were just a couple of metres after Ericsson 4, with PUMA and Telefónica Blue a bit further in front.
Now, at 1800, the positioning is pretty much the same. The Russians are behind us to leeward, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon are straight to leeward. PUMA is still in front and Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4 are following closely behind.
The most action-filled incident we had so far was when our Finnish guest had to jump overboard. Mason helped her get the drysuit on, then he led her down to leeward, lifted her up and held her with one arm above the surface until he thought the chaseboat was close enough. Then he let her go. Splash and gone! You really understand why you don’t want to fall overboard from one of these boat. To turn around and pick someone up would just take ages
Magnus has cheered up a bit and is now smiling more. He still tired and he knows this will be though. “It’s a bit of an anticlimax but we have to fight on and finish this race in a good way”, he says.
On the last legs we have had a big problem with tiredness. People just don’t get enough sleep. This time we are going to use the ‘standby watch’ system a bit more and everyone will get down to rest as soon as they can.
Gustav Morin – MCM