Belfast Telegraph Breidge Boyle Day 9

Belfast Telegraph Breidge Boyle Day 9

 

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The synoptic situation is very complicated for the fleet, currently in the middle of four different weather systems of weak pressure gradients and light winds that need to be negotiated.

Amidst the changeable conditions, this kind of weather is very hard to predict meaning that a lot of the current tactical play is gut instinct combined with guesswork to try and cross the ridge.

There is also a blocking high pressure system sitting just west of Ireland that remains in place and will cause the fleet a significant detour either north or east.

Current leader Jamaica Get All Right, who has came out of Stealth Mode still in first position, has headed further north with a north/south divide starting to occur amongst the fleet as the boats try and get in the best position to deal with the difficult conditions.

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, currently in sixth, said: “The next few days will be very interesting in this race as we see the different boats’ tactics as we all leave one weather system and face decisions of the best course to follow as we will no longer be able to sail directly towards the finish. Already you can see boats taking different courses, trying to be in the best position when the wind shifts.”

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, in tenth, added: “Our easterly course saw us plummet down the leaderboard which coupled with not going very far over the last few hours is slightly depressing, though the whole fleet should have light airs to contend with at some time or another over the next 24 hours.”

 

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

Due tofour differentweather systemsaffecting the fleet in the 2850 mile transatlantic crossing, the current leader Jamaica Get All Right, if it maintains an average speed of 7 knots, is expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry midday on Monday 23 June. The rest of the fleet is expected to arrive by late Tuesday 24 June.

Race Director, Justin Taylor, explains the synoptic systems which are affecting the fleet’s progress:The weather is very complicated at the moment with four different weather systems affecting the fleet.  There is low pressure over the Iberian Peninsula and also a low north west of this centred south of Greenland.

“There is high pressure south west of the fleet and of course high pressure to the north east over Ireland which is giving the UK warm weather at the moment.  The fleet is generally sandwiched between all four systems where there is light fluky wind and probably will be so for at least a further 24 to 36 hours.  This will produce low boat speeds.  As they head further

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start  leg 7 Race 11

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start leg 7 Race 11

AFTER A SPECTACULAR SEND-OFF FROM SAN FRANCISCO, USA THE 12 STRONG FLEET COMPETING IN THE CLIPPER 2013-14 RACE PULLED NO PUNCHES AS THE 3,300 MILE RACE TO PANAMA GOT OFF TO A FLYING START. 

With Derry~Londonderry~DoireHenri Lloyd and Old Pulteney first across the start line for Race 11, it wasn’t long before PSP Logistics made its move eager to make an impression and secure a win in its title race. Skipper of PSP Logistics, Chris Hollis which currently lies in second place behind Old Pulteney knows all too well the pressure is on: 
“Today see’s us on our way to Panama in Race 11, which has being named by our sponsor, the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup. Needless to say, we want to do very well in the race for obvious reasons. By the time we were under the Golden Gate Bridge and heading out to sea we had over taken four boats.”Although the Northern Irish entry took an early lead, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire Sean McCarter was far from impressed by his teams initial start in Race 11. Sean explains in today’s skipper report:“Our departure today was less than straight forward. With crowds cheering from the dock, we proceeded to bounce our way out of the marina in a very erratic manner. I was worried the Coastguard might want to breathalyse me but I can honestly confirm that as the tide was fully out, the keel was gently ploughing through the muddy bottom and making manoeuvring very tricky!”
“After the embarrassing departure, we knew we had to redeem ourselves at the start. The largely new crew (11 joiners) pulled together really well with the seasoned round the world crew and we managed to win the start and lead out under the Golden Gate Bridge which was fantastic for all aboard (and all our fans who were unlucky enough to witness our departure!)”

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

With just four miles now separating the top three leading boats, Old PulteneyPSP Logistics and Derry~Londonderry~Doire respectively, all eyes will be on the Race Viewer to see how the tactics in Race 11 will play out over the next few weeks. To read all the skipper reports click here

SKIPPER REPORTS
Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire
Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain
Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd
Rich Gould
Invest Africa
Pete Stirling
Jamaica Get All Right
Matt Mitchell
Mission Performance
Patrick van der Zijden
Old Pulteney
Olly Cotterell
One DLL
Chris Hollis
PSP Logistics
Gareth Glover
Qingdao
Vicky Ellis
Switzerland
20clipper.jpg.article.jpg
Team Garmin
View all Skipper reports
VIEW LATEST RACE STANDINGS

 

 

VIEW THIS BLOG VIEW ALL CREW BLOGS

Henri Lloyd arrives into San Francisco

Henri Lloyd arrives into San Francisco


It’s been one of the toughest legs of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, but crossing the finish line, even in the dark, under San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, is a moment to savour after 5600 miles of ocean racing across the mighty Pacific

GREAT Britain crossed the finish line of Race 10 in the 16 stage global series at 21:42:56 local time (UTC-7) on April 9 to take line honours ahead of rival Henri Lloyd who slipped back into second place around 1.30pm local time today.

Henri Lloyd crossed the line two hours later at 23:45 local time. A battle had ensued for the last five days between Henri Lloyd and GREAT Britain with the teams both alternating between first, second and third place on the leader board.

Invest Africa crossed the line at 05:26am local time on April 10 taking the third line honours place.

All results are provisional and the final positions will be confirmed by the race office after redress is applied. Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said: “We have had a very good race with Eric and Henri Lloyd, its always great to have someone to spar against. It’s no fun if you are 500 miles ahead. It’s a real sense of achievement battling it out. Coming out of the windhole yesterday I just couldn’t see how we would claw it back.

“They managed to pull 15 miles on us by running inshore, then we pulled it back by running deeper and came in first under the bridge. I know Eric will be very pleased with his team’s performance and he has had a very fine race with a crew of 13. We had a crew of 18 and we worked really hard.

“This was not the Pacific crossing that it was billed to be. We had no storms, we had no frontal systems passing over but the wind was gusting at 50 knots at times and we love sailing in that. We had a very fast downwind race and had 20 days of sunshine – that is what you call luck.

“There is a constant battle in a long race like this to keep performance up, but the crew like winning so it is easy for my crew to get out of bed each watch.”

Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden said his team had fought with GREAT Britain right to the bitter end for several races in a row now.

“It was their turn this time and they got the better of us. We tried as hard as we could but we just got a little tired towards the end. It was a long race and you can’t push full on the whole time, so you have to pick when you really go for it and when you sit back a bit. You could tell a lot of boats did that and we found the right times.”

GREAT Britain celebrates San Francisco line honours

GREAT Britain celebrates San Francisco line honours

Derry~Londonderry~Doire at the start of Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Cape Town, South Africa

British Man Rescued after falling overboard on Derry~Londonderry~Doire

A British man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of this morning after falling overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew member, Andrew Taylor (46) from London went over the side at 00.43 BST last night in rough weather and was sighted again at 01.55 BST before being recovered at approx. 02.13 BST this morning (13.13 local time, 30 March).

The incident happened in rough weather with 35 knots of wind and clear visibility, during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage Clipper Race which is currently heading for San Francisco, USA from Qingdao, China.

The yacht’s professional Skipper Sean McCarter (32) from Derry Londonderry reported that he was working with Andrew on a sail change near the bow when he went over the side. Sean immediately went back to the helm, stopped the yacht and initiated the MOB (man overboard) procedure.

Race Director Justin Taylor explained: “In these conditions a man overboard is swept away from the boat very quickly and visual contact can be lost in the swell. We have a well-rehearsed procedure to mark the position, stop racing and engaged the engine to search for and recover the crew member as quickly as possible.

“An hour and a half is a very long time to be in the water in these conditions but a combination of his sea survival training and seven months at sea as well as wearing a life jacket and dry suit will have contributed enormously to his survival.”

Nearly 4,000 people have taken part in the event which includes an extensive pre-race training programme and the organisers are fully committed to safety and maintaining their excellent record.

“The sea can be a harsh environment and we rehearse every eventuality including a man overboard (MOB),” stated Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “The MOB procedures were put into practice flawlessly by the crew in difficult conditions. It is a tribute to their training and determination that Andrew was successfully recovered. It is always a concern when we have a major incident and we will want to analyse the circumstances in detail to see if there is anything we need to learn or review as a result.”

Following his recovery, Andrew was taken below decks for treatment by the on board medic, crew member Susie Redhouse (42) also from London, who is a paramedic clinical tutor. She reports he is suffering from shock and may have hypothermia. His condition is being monitored closely, but he appears to be in relatively good spirits and is talking with fellow crew members.
A competing team in the fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts OneDLL responded to the mayday call and diverted course to render assistance as the closest yacht to Derry~Londonderry~Doire.  Falmouth and US Coast Guard services were contacted and have now been stood down. Both boats have resumed racing.

This is only the fourth ever incident in the Clipper Race’s eighteen year history that someone has had to be recovered from the water. In both previous incidents, the crew members were recovered within minutes.

Sea safety is a fundamental practice of the Clipper Race. Before joining their boats all crew members must complete an extensive, four stage sailing and sea safety training course, including sea survival. This includes highly detailed instruction and practice of man overboard (MOB) procedure. All yachts are equipped with special MOB dummies and regularly rehearse search and recovery practice throughout the race.

The Pacific leg, between China and the US, is the tenth of sixteen stages which comprise the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles. The fleet is just over the half way stage of the 5,600 mile race to San Francisco. The first boats are expected to finish under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on 11 April. The Clipper 2013-14 Race left London on 1 September 2013 and returns to St Katharine Docks next to Tower Bridge on Saturday 12 July 2014.

AndrewTaylor

LD YACHT RACE
The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race started Sunday, 1 September from St Katharine Docks London, and will return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world’s longest ocean race.

The event was established in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 670 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro.

The overall race is divided into sixteen individual stages. Since leaving London, teams have raced via Brest, France, Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, Albany in Western Australia, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qingdao, China. After completing a brief stopover in San Francisco, the fleet will continue to Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and Dan Helder, The Netherlands. Points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.
www.clipperroundtheworld.com

torben-grael-with-prize
3-teams-podium

First Place Ericsson 4 , Second Place PUMA Ocean Racing , And Third Place Telefonica Blue On The Podium (Photo by Rick Tomlinson /Volvo Ocean Race)

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

Ericsson 4 Finishing In St Petersburg (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

Ericsson 4 Finishing In St Petersburg (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

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
reality.

“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
2. PUMA
3. Telefónica Blue
4. Ericsson 3
5. Ericsson 4
6. Green Dragon
7. Delta Lloyd

Telefonica Black skippered by Fernando Echavarr Wins Leg 10 (Photo by Dave Kneale /  Volvo Ocean Race )

Telefonica Black skippered by Fernando Echavarr Wins Leg 10 (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race )

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

 

PUMA and Telefonica Black Neck and Neck Near St Petersburg Finish (Photo by Dave Kneale)

PUMA and Telefonica Black Neck and Neck Near St Petersburg Finish (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

 

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.”

Stockholm to St. Petersbrg Leg Start (Photo By Dave Kneale)

Stockholm to St. Petersbrg Leg Start (Photo By Dave Kneale)

 

 

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. 

Start of Leg (Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race)

Start of Leg (Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race)

 

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.

Overall Leaderboard
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

Fleet Rounding Mark (Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race)

Fleet Rounding Mark (Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race)