Barrett-Jackson Auction at Mohegan Sun Arena (Photo by George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson kicked off it’s newest auction for The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® at the sold out The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Also, Barrett-Jackson set an attendance record for any event at Mohegan Sun.

“The inaugural Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction became a success within the first few hours with record crowds and an unprecedented sell-out of both tickets and consignments,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “This will be absolutely the best collector car event in the Northeast in 2016.”

Mohegan Sun, one of the most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in North America, hosted the three-day collector car auction event for visitors from around the world. Coverage of the inaugural Northeast Auction presented by Barrett-Jackson was broadcast live on the Velocity and Discovery television networks as well.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson (Photo © George Bekris)

The first Northeast Barrett-Jackson exceeded expectation and the sale achieved $30,378,920 in total sales, and 574 vehicles sold for an average price of $52,925.  Not bad for it’s first year in New England.

 

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Mercedes Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Top sale of the weekend was a 1969 L88 Corvette at $624,800. Big sales in the American muscle category included a 1969 Boss 429 Mustang at $346,500, a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird at $330,000 and a 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible at $203,500. Barrett-Jackson had numerous Italian cars in the lineup, including several 1990s Lamborghinis and 1980s Ferraris. The most expensive of them were the 1998 Lamborghini Diablo SV Monterey Edition at $253,000 and the 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, a two-headlight car, at $330,000. This being a mostly no reserve Barrett-Jackson sale, there were only a handful of no-sales.

The Mohegan Sun arena was full of both bidders and spectators. During one part of the sale there were so many bidders in attendance they spilled over into the spectator portion of the arena making it even more interesting to watch the fast paced bidding.

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

There were vintage hot rods and old army vehicles as well. The auction had a wide array of memorabilia ranging from gas pumps and old signage to bicycles and pedal cars. So even if you were not in the market for a Lamborghini there were plenty of items to bid on.

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Many in the crowd did not even come to bid but to stroll the giant tented parking lots of Mohegan Sun and take in the best car show around. There were classics, exotics, muscle cars, hot rods for everyone’s taste. There were one offs and show cars like the Shelby all polished aluminum shining in the sun.  Many of these cars you won’t see at any other show in the Northeast and the crowds seem to appreciate all of them judging by the spectators flocking from tent to tent and milling through the parking garage filled with both flesh and steel.

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

 

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Barrett-Jackson, is the leader in collector car auctions and automotive lifestyle events. The company produces auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut; and Las Vegas, Nevada. With broadcast partners, Velocity and Discovery Channel, Barrett-Jackson will feature live television coverage in 2016, including broadcasts in over 100 countries internationally. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance for collector vehicles and other valued belongings.

Barrett-Jackson Northeast drew in its share of stars to enjoy the event. Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufmann of Fast ‘N Loud and brought in 12 vehicles from Dallas to sell at auction.  They were  spotted throughout the weekend with others from Gas Monkey Garage and camera crew zipping around the event in his Gas Monkey Garage golf cart as well as onstage during the auction.

 Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo © George Bekris)

Hopefully this inaugural Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction will be the first of many years of auctions and amazing vehicles to come in the future.

For more photos of the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction visit George Bekris Photography 

For more information on Barrett-Jackson Auctions visit Barrett-Jackson Online

Ericsson 4 Crossing The Finish Line In Marstrand (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

Ericsson 4 Crossing The Finish Line In Marstrand (Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race)

 

In one of the closest finishes in the race to date, Ericsson 4 held off the recently resurgent PUMA and Green Dragon teams to win Leg 8, and claim their third consecutive leg win and fifth in the race so far. The victory puts Ericsson 4 in an all but unassailable position on the leaderboard.

“We’re very close to winning the race,” admitted Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael. “But we’re not there yet.”

His team now holds a 15-point lead with just three scoring opportunities left (for a maximum 20 points) before the finish in St. Petersburg.

This may have been one of the shorter legs of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, but the intense sprint from Galway to Marstrand was no less testing for its short duration. The leg threw a bit of everything at the crews, who were exhausted beyond all sensibility by the time they reached the finish off the small island of Marstrand.

The battle for second place, between PUMA, who made a late pass, and Green Dragon, was particularly close (less than a minute separated the pair), as was the fight for fifth, where Delta Lloyd stole past Telefonica Black just metres before the finish line for a 19-second margin of victory. All seven teams finished within one hour and 19 minutes.

 

PUMA is on a roll after a disappointing performance in their hometown in Boston. The team made some crew changes ahead of the leg to Galway, and has since posted two second place finishes in the offshore legs, as well as their first win of the race at the Galway in-port race. Their finish position on this leg was particularly sweet as the team appeared to be in danger of finishing in last place 24 hours ago.

 

“The ‘no-quit’ in this team is beyond imagination,” said skipper Ken Read, dockside in Marstrand. “We had every reason to quit and I think we’re kind of stunned to be honest. 24-hours ago we were sailing with a triple reef and a number four jib, upwind in a gale, while the other guys were running down the coast. I give (navigator) Andrew Cape a lot of credit. We got ourselves in a tough spot and he got us out of it. He could have said ‘let’s just follow them in’ and he didn’t. He deserves a ton of credit.”

PUMA was forced to split from the fleet after ‘blowing up’ one of their spinnakers. At the time, Read said they were “hoping beyond hope” that the tactic would work. PUMA sailed to the opposite side of a low pressure system, forced into that position by not having the sail required to sail the same angle as the fleet. They soon tumbled to the nether regions of the leaderboard.

But by yesterday afternoon, it looked like their tactic of punching through the low just might work. Still a long way back, PUMA were sailing in much stronger wind than the opposition, and pulling back the miles. But they wouldn’t get past Green Dragon until both had reached the tip of Denmark and made their final turn for Marstrand.

 

“I almost feel bad a little bit for Green Dragon,” Read said. “They sailed a great race. They were right at the front pretty much the whole time. That’s their best effort yet. We got them going around the corner at the end. We had a little pace on them in reaching conditions and we just got by them.”

 

But Ian Walker, skipper of the Irish team, was in no mood to accept anyone’s pity. It’s the second consecutive podium finish for the Dragons and Walker and his men were happy with the result.

“We sailed pretty much a perfect leg, so there’s no point in being upset,” Walker said. “This leg, there were a lot of big tactical gains. We sailed a very different route to everyone else in the race. It clearly paid. It was only at the end when we were all straight-line reaching that they all came smoking past us.”

Ericsson 4 On Podium After Winning Leg 8 In Marstrand (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

Ericsson 4 On Podium After Winning Leg 8 In Marstrand (Photo by Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race)

In the end, the Ericsson 4, PUMA, Green Dragon, podium placing was the same as in the leg to Galway. And PUMA and Green Dragon finished with a couple of hundred metres of each other.

In fourth place was a disappointed Telefonica Blue. Combined with PUMA’s second place finish, the result sees Bouwe Bekking’s team surrender second place on the overall leaderboard to the American team. Bekking wasn’t happy with the result.

“In the areas where we are normally very strong we just sailed badly,” he said. “Fourth place…well for a big part of the race were seventh, so in that sense, it was a good effort, but it’s always disappointing when you don’t win.”

This fight for second is likely to last all the way to the finish in St. Petersburg, with PUMA and Telefonica Blue battling down to the bitter end.

 

Further back, Delta Lloyd stole a point from Telefonica Black just ahead of the finish line, the boats nearly overlapped as they crossed the line.

 

“We had only one possibility, which was to go through an impossible gap full of rocks, so that’s what we did,” was the way navigator Wouter Verbraak explained the passing move. “It was tight, but we made it. Fantastic. We took them 10 lengths before the finish. Really, really cool.”

Ericsson 3 completed the leg in a disappointing seventh place.

The results for leg 8 set up an interesting leaderboard with just three scoring opportunities left.

Ericsson 4 is in a very strong position to lock up the race on the next leg, the short Swedish sprint to Stockholm. Meanwhile, PUMA and Telefonica Blue appear destined to fight for second place until the very end.

After two poor legs, Ericsson 3 will need to start looking over their shoulders at Green Dragon, now just 5.5 points behind. Similarly, Telefonica Black is suddenly less comfortable with Delta Lloyd lurking just 7 behind.

The teams are on a restricted regime now in Marstrand due to the ‘pit-stop’ designation here. In general, all repairs have to be made by the crews, and no new sails, or food, or other material is permitted to be brought on board. Crew substitutions are allowed however and Telefonica Blue have previously announced Tom Addis will step down for Simon Fisher.

Ericsson 4 Before They Wipeout (Photo By Guy Salter / Ericsson 4 / Volvo Ocean Race

Ericsson 4 Before They Wipeout (Photo By Guy Salter / Ericsson 4 / Volvo Ocean Race

The shadow boxing of the past few days has descended into a brutal street brawl as the elements take cheap shots in the closing stages of Leg 8. Both Ericsson 3 and Telefonica Blue have sustained heavy psychological blows. Today it was PUMA’s turn.

Slamming upwind and hot footing it through a minefield of tidal shifts, in the waters off the Hook of Holland, can take its toll. And forget tip-toeing through the tulips found in this part of the world, try threading your way round tankers in a Volvo Open 70. Rows of them.

For Ericsson 3, the mood is dark and the pain acute. A tactical decision to continue north overnight, against the run of play, resulted in a massive hemorrhaging of miles. At midday yesterday, the Nordics were in third place on the leaderboard, just seven miles off the leaders, Telefonica Black and Green Dragon.

By 10 ZULU today, that deficit had ballooned to 55 miles and their ignominious slide to the foot of the rankings continued unchecked. Setting the fastest time in the Rotterdam Gate Race was scant consolation.

Media Crew Member Gustav Morin revealed that Ericsson 3 was far from a happy ship. “There is everything but happy days on Ericsson 3 for the moment,” he wrote. “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.

“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.”

Telefonica Blue were badly caught out by the constant tide and wind shifts near the exclusion zone in the Dover Strait. Skipper Bouwe Bekking was not amused.

“We had an absolutely shocking last 24 hours, were just nothing worked out and losing a lot of miles,” he said.

“We have been battling hard, but no gains to be made. We came very close to PUMA and Delta Lloyd near the Dover Strait, but they got a puff first and extended again. This morning the wind swung from the NE into the SW, meaning we sailed right into the old swell, doing about 15-20 knots of boat speed. Boat breaking stuff.”

For long periods, the Blue boat has appeared to be without a prayer in this leg, and Media Crew Member Gabri Olivo has looked to the heavens for an explanation for their position in economy class on the leaderboard.
“Probably someone didn’t go to church last Sunday,” he reasoned. “This morning we were just in front of Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and PUMA, catching up with Ericsson 3 and quite happy about the battle that we had during the night to keep our position.

“Then we decided to go a little lower than the others and slowly but continuously, we got sucked into a mixture of a header and a less favorable tide that we never got out from.

“Things went from bad to worse when we had to stop the boat three times to clear some weed from the keel. Within four hours we lost sight of all the others. As you can imagine, the darkness came onboard. You can see on everyone’s face how bad the mood is.”

PUMA hit the canvas soon after the Gate Race when they blew out a spinnaker. It meant a course change and an altering of outlook on board.

“We have been in a heavyweight prize fight for days now and fighting off blows to the head and sleep deprivation,” Read said.

“Sailing back into third place today and then amazingly blowing our big spinnaker up sailing downwind just after the Rotterdam loop. Then the chain reaction occurred and the culmination of it all is a complete split from the fleet and hoping beyond hope that this new tactic works.

“The spinnaker just broke, right below the head patch. Absolutely no warning. After the chute exploded we had to put up small sails and in turn we sailed a higher course than the rest of the fleet. So we lost touch. Our best hope is to try and punch through the center of the low and wait for the rest of the group to hit their light air eventually.

“The team is down right now but all realize that we can’t quit and need to press on. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. Today may have been one of those days for us as time will only tell.”

By the 16:00 GMT Position Report, and with 295 miles remaining to the finish, PUMA’s mishap had relegated them to the bottom of the pile – 32 miles adrift of leader Ericsson 4.

Green Dragon held second at +4 miles ahead of Delta Lloyd and Telefonica Blue (both +19). Bekking’s men were in an arm wrestle with the sistership, Telefonica Black (+21), while Ericsson 3, who’s travails are well documented earlier, was 27 miles off the lead and just ahead of the wounded PUMA.

Ericsson 4 have not escaped unscathed from the past few days. The first night out of Galway Torben Grael’s men they found themselves having to right the boat after a gybe became a broach in 35+ knots. A broken wheel was the upshot.
Nevertheless, they stepped into the battle that had raged between Green Dragon and Telefonica Black for the past 48 hours and claimed the outright leadership of the leg at 07:00 GMT this morning.

Grael and navigator Jules Salter benefited from a big wind shift as the fleet made its way towards the Rotterdam Gate Race off the Hook of Holland.

“It was a tough night onboard Ericsson 4 as we made our way through the constant changing maze of ships and wind shifts,” reported Media Crew Member, Guy Salter, adding that sleep was at a premium given the constant tacking required in the North Sea. Even for a recovering sleepaholic.

“For this whole race I have won Ericsson 4’s highly-coveted ‘Golden Blanket’ award – it hasn’t been the easiest of feats I can assure you – but dogged determination and perseverance has seen me fight off some very tough competition.

“This leg however I thought I would step aside and allow one of the other chaps onboard to live the glory. So here I am with only three short naps under my belt over the last 30 hours totalling no more than four hours’ sleep and through no fault of my own I am still the leader in the sleep stakes. The rest of the lads are living off less than two hours’ rest for the same time period – such has been conditions for the last day or so.”

Salter also reported that the crew of Ericsson 4 may be in need of dental work such has been the pounding over the past few days.

“It’s extremely choppy, very uncomfortable slamming which is near impossible for the lads to drive through without shaking a few of those old fillings loose.

“I hope the dentists of Marstrand are ready – they may have 77 new customers looking for amalgam replacements.”

This afternoon the fleet was being propelled by a 25-30 knot westerly gale off the coast of northern Holland from where they will make their turn towards Scandinavia. Computer routing software is predicting a finish in Marstrand in the early hours of Thursday this week.

PUMA’s Rick Deppe had more to report on the hazards of being on board a Volvo Open 70 in the busiest shipping lane in the world.

“The amount of shipping traffic is staggering. If they are a danger to us, we must equally be a real pain to them. We seem to change direction for no reason and I’m sure that they are very confused as to how a sailboat can go so fast.

“If Singapore seemed like the parking garage for the world’s shipping fleet then the Straits of Dover would have to be the M25 and DC Beltway combined at rush hour.”

More like bewitching hour on PUMA.

Start Line For Galway In-Port Race (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

Start Line For Galway In-Port Race (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

 

 

PUMA won the in-port race series in Galway today after two thrilling races were held on Galway Bay.  This is the first time that PUMA has been on top of the podium for the Volvo Ocean Race and it brings her closer to second place in the overall standings.  Telefónica Blue, second today, maintains second place overall, but only by one point and Ericsson 4’s slightly disappointing performance shaves her overall lead from 14.5 points to 13 points.

In race one, Team Telefónica clearly dominated in what started out as perfect conditions, with blue skies and a building breeze.  While local heroes, Green Dragon, opted for a committee-boat start followed by Delta Lloyd, Athens Olympic Gold Medallist Iker Martinez (49-er) quickly steered Telefónica Blue to the left of the course and into a clear lead, which he held until the finish gun.  Telefónica Black, with America’s Cup helmsman and syndicate head Pedro Campos in charge, made it a one-two for the Spanish team in conditions that clearly suited the two Farr Yacht Design boats

PUMA put in a good performance to take third, from Ericsson 4, just as the wind began to die and seriously shift. A big cloudbank swept across the racecourse sucking the breeze with it and causing a headache for the race committee who had to reposition the windward and leeward marks several times during the course of the race. 

Ericsson 3, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon all had their problems during  the race and found themselves trailing the leaders on the procession to the finish line after the windshift.

After a short postponement, race two got underway and the clouds parted to allow the blue sky and sun to shine through.  A new westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant a new course was set, slightly closer to the shore. 

Delta Lloyd made a blinding start at the pin end of the start line and led the fleet early.  Telefónica Black was on course side and had to dip back behind the line and re-start, but made quick recovery. Green Dragon tacked, dipping behind the whole fleet and headed out to the right hand of the course.

Good work from Kenny Read and his men onboard PUMA meant they rounded the first mark in the lead from Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4.  The order at the front of the fleet remained unchanged at end of the first downwind leg, while, further back, Telefónica Black overtook Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon, who was struggling in the lighter conditions.

On the second beat, Telefónica Black came right back into contention and followed Telefónica Blue through the mid course gate to the right hand side of the course.  Green Dragon also chose the right hand side, nearest the beach.

The fleet converged on the windward mark for the last time with PUMA leading the fleet safely round.  Second place was very close with Ericsson 3 coming in from the left hand side and the two Telefónica boats approaching from the right.  Ericsson 3 got the better of the two Spanish boats and rose up through the fleet from fourth place to round the mark in second place, from Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4 and Telefónica Black.

On the final spinnaker leg, PUMA remained in control to complete the second race in first place, confirming her win today on a tiebreak, which takes the results of the second race as the decider.  Ericsson 3 remained in second place and Telefónica Blue finished third in front of Telefónica Black.

Overall, it was a team affair, with PUMA taking maximum points today, followed by Telefónica Blue and Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.

The final in-port race will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 June, and leg eight from Galway to Marstrand, Sweden will start at 1300 local time (1200 GMT) next Saturday. 

Race One Galway In-Port Race Finish Position
1. Telefónica Blue
2. Telefónica Black
3. PUMA
4. Ericsson 4
5. Ericsson 3
6. Delta Lloyd
7. Green Dragon

Race Two Galway In-port Race Finish Position
1. PUMA
2. Ericsson 3
3. Telefónica Blue
4. Telefónica Black
5. Ericsson 4
6. Delta Lloyd
7. Green Dragon

Galway In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. PUMA: 4.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue: 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black: 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 4 : 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon: 1.0 points

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 94.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 81.0 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 80.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 62.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 53.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 39.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 31.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

Skippers Meeting In Galway (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

Skippers Meeting In Galway (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

The sixth in-port race day of the Volvo Ocean Race is scheduled for Saturday afternoon on Galway Bay and it promises to be among the more memorable events of the 2008-09 race. If the welcome the fleet received last weekend at the conclusion of the leg from Boston is any indication, the local crowds will be large, loud, and very enthusiastic.

The Sparring has already begun for the skippers at the skippers meeting today.

“We have a Danish guy, eight and a half feet tall and 250 kilos strong,” grinned Magnus Olsson, the inimitable 60-year-old skipper of Ericsson 3. “Ken Read has an extra pit winch because his crew is not strong enough.”

“The reason they need a 250-kilo guy is because they have such an old and decrepit skipper,” replied Read, Olsson’s counterpart on PUMA.

The pair’s light hearted sparring sessions have become something of a regular feature at the pre-race gatherings, but the real battle for Read was sitting a few seats away to his right.

Iker Martinez, the inshore skipper of Telefonica Blue, has something that Read wants: second place.

He would also appear to hold a good share of the aces ahead of tomorrow’s in-port race. The forecasts are suggesting yet another battle in reasonably light breezes – between nine and 12 knots for the first race and five to 10 in the second, according to Read – and it is accepted wisdom that Blue has a boat speed advantage in such conditions.

They proved as much by winning the races around the cans in Alicante, Rio de Janeiro and Boston, all of which saw very little wind. They also scooped second in the light in Qingdao and claimed third in the strong breeze of Singapore. It amounts to an inshore tally of 18.5 points, a full two clear of Ericsson 4, the next best.

“I don’t know how they do it, but Telefonica have some kind of connection to the wind gods for these in-port races,” Read said. “We get a lot of light breeze.”

The weather forecast is for sunshine and light to moderate breezes, which should offer fair racing conditions and fantastic opportunities for race fans to watch the proceedings. The hometown favourites, Ireland’s Green Dragon, will be among seven teams battling for supremacy on a short, inshore racecourse, located just outside the city on Galway Bay.

The local team received a hero’s welcome last weekend, after securing a podium finish on the leg into Galway and their skipper, Ian Walker, knows the pressure is on for another strong performance during the in-port race.

“Within our team, we have made a really big effort this week,” he said at the skippers’ press conference today. “We’ve done twice as many training days here as we have before. We’ve bolstered the crew. We’re taking it very seriously, we know that all of these people are coming and they want to see Green Dragon do well, and we’re going to do our best.”

The action is sure to be closely contested. On the overall race leaderboard, Ericsson 4 has built a 14.5 point lead over its nearest rivals, Telefónica Blue. But the crew on the Blue boat has shown itself to be a force on the in-port races, having won the last two in-port days in Boston and Rio de Janeiro.

In addition, PUMA is just 1.5 points behind Telefónica Blue on the leaderboard, in the hard-fought battle for second place.

“The question of the week has been about the fight between Telefónica Blue and PUMA,” said Telefónica Blue in-port helmsman Iker Martinez. “But I think the big fight is with ourselves; just to round these marks, get the spinnaker up and down with no problems, that’s already pretty difficult. The goal for us is to have no problems and try to be in the top three.”

“There’s no doubt we’ll know where they are on the race course,” admitted PUMA skipper Ken Read, speaking about the rivalry with Telefónica Blue. “As the regatta gets further along, you start to pinpoint your closest competitors so that’s really a normal thing. One problem is that Telefónica Blue has a really nice way of dialling in the weather because these light air days surely are very good for them. That makes it a little bit harder to really go after them if they potentially have speed on you. If it’s light air tomorrow, they’re certainly the boat to beat.”

The teams are permitted to add two additional sailors to their crew lists for in-port racing and there was some light-hearted banter between Ken Read and Ericsson 3 skipper Magnus Olsson over who was adding the most muscle to their team. After hearing Read detail the two ‘grinders’ who would be added to PUMA for the race, Olsson joked: “We have a Danish guy on our boat, eight and a half feet tall and 250 kilos strong!”

Racing is due to start on Saturday at 1300 local time, 1200 GMT. Two races are scheduled over the course of the afternoon.

The race area is just outside Galway Docks, in the middle of Galway Bay. The racecourse will be visible along the coast from Salthill to Barna. Locally, there will be audio commentary on the water on VHF channel 15 as well as Galway Bay FM. TG4 will be broadcasting the racing live.

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 92.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 77.5 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 76.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 60.0 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 52.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 36.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 29.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points
 
Team Lineups For In-Port Races In Galway

DELTA LLOYD

1. Roberto Bermúdez De Castro/ESP – skipper
2. Wouter Verbraak/NED – navigator
3. Sander Pluijm/NED – MCM
4. Stuart Wilson/NZL – mainsheet
5. Nick Bice/AUS – pit
6. Andre Fonseca/BRA – tactician
7. Ben Costello/NZL – trimmer
8. Ed Van Lierde/NED – grinder
9. David Pella/ESP – pitman
10. Gerd-Jan Poortman/NED – bowman
11. Morgan White/AUS – mid bow
12. Juan Meseguer/ESP – trimmer
13. Marcos Iglesias/ESP – grinder

ERICSSON 4

1. Torben Grael/BRA – skipper
2. Jules Salter/GBR – navigator
3. Guy Salter/GBR – MCM
4. Brad Jackson/NZL – mainsheet
5. Stu Bannatyne/NZL – tactician
6. Dave Endean/NZL – pitman 
7. Horacio Carabelli/BRA – trimmer 
8. Tony Mutter/NZL – trimmer
9. Joao Signorini/BRA – trimmer
10. Ryan Godfrey/AUS – bowman
11. Phil Jameson/NZL – bowman
12. Brian McInnes/CAN – grinder
13. Carl Williams/NZL – grinder

ERICSSON 3

1. Magnus Olsson/SWE – skipper
2. Aksel Magdahl/NOR – navigator
3. Gustav Morin/SWE MCM
4. Arve Roaas/NOR – mainsheet
5. Richard Mason/NZL – mainsheet
6. Thomas Johanson/FIN – helm
7. Eivind Melleby/NOR – trimmer
8. Martin Strömberg/SWE – trimmer
9. Jens Dolmer/DEN – pitman
10. Anders Dahlsjö/SWE – mastman 
11. Martin Krite/SWE – bowman
12. Jann Neergaard/DEN – grinder
13. Rasmus Koster/DEN – tactics

 GREEN DRAGON

1. Ian Walker/GBR – skipper/tactician 
2. Neal McDonald/GBR – mainsheet
3. Guo Chuan/CHN – MCM
4. Damian Foxall/IRL – strategy
5. Ian Moore – navigator/tactician
6. Anthony Merrington/AUS – trimmer
7. Phil Harmer/AUS – trimmer
8. Andrew Mclean/NZL – pitman
9. James Carroll/IRL – pit assistant
10. Justin Slattery/IRL – bow
11. Freddy Shanks/GBR – mid bow
12. Winston Macfarlane/NZL – grinder
13. Johnny Mordaunt/IRL – grinder

PUMA OCEAN RACING

1. Ken Read/USA – skipper
2. Andrew Cape/AUS – navigator
3. Rick Deppe/GBR MCM
4. Craig Satterthwaite/NZL – trimmer
5. Robert Greenhalgh/GBR – tactician
6. Rob Salthouse/NZL – pit
7. Justin Ferris/NZL – trimmer
8. Shannon Falcone/ANT – trimmer/pit
9. Casey Smith/AUS – bowman
10. Erle Williams/NZL – mainsheet trimmer
11. Francis Tregaskis – mid bow
12. Andrew Taylor/NZL – grinder
13. Michael O’Mullahan/IRE – grinder

TELEFÓNICA BLUE

1. Iker Martinez/ESP – skipper
2. Bouwe  Bekking/NED – tactician
3. Simon Fisher/GBR- navigator
4. Gabriele Olivo/ITA – MCM
5. Jonathan Swain/RSA – trim
6. Jordi Calafat /ESP – mainsheet
7. Xabier Fernandez/ESP – trimmer
8. Pablo Arrarte/ESP Spanish – trimmer
9. Laurent Pages/FRA – trimmer
10. Daryl Wislang/NZL – bowman
11. Pepe Ribes/ESP – bowman
12. Federico Giovanelli/ITA – grinder
13. Carlo Castellano/ITA – grinder

TELEFÓNICA BLACK

1. Fernando Echávarri/ESP – skipper
2. Luis Doreste/ESP – Tactician
3. Anton Paz/ESP – MCM
4. Antonio (Ñeti) Cuervas-Mons/ESP – trimmer
5. Gonzalo Araujo/ESP – watch captain
6. Jaime Arbones/ESP – watch captain
7. Pablo Iglesias/ESP – trimmer
8. Javier de la Plaza/ESP – trimmer
9. David Vera/ESP –  bow
10. Michael Pammenter/RSA – bow
11. Maciel Cicchetti/ARG – trimmer
12. Iñigo Losada/ESP – grinder
13. Pedro Campos/ESP – helmsman

Ericsson 4 at Leg 7 Finish

Ericsson 4 at Leg 7 Finish (Photo Courtesy of Volvo Ocean Race)

 

Ericsson 4 has won their second consecutive leg, crossing the finish line in Galway Bay at 00:54 GMT on Sunday morning. The boat should be dockside within about 45 minutes. Their elapsed time for the leg is 07 days, 10 hours 33 minutes.

PUMA is 21 miles from the finish, making 20 knots, with Green Dragon and Telefonica Blue pushing hard from close behind.

Green Dragon Crew Getting Hosed (Photo by Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

Green Dragon Crew Getting Hosed (Photo by Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

 

Ericsson 4 is back in her familiar position, leading the fleet by 13 nm as they scream towards Galway.  But, the last 24 hours have not been without incident.  The red sky yesterday morning heralded a warning, and, as the wind increased as forecast late yesterday afternoon, PUMA was in trouble, having just sailed into the lead.

Around 1800 GMT in an awkward sea state, the black cat broached.  There was a bang and the boat was on her side, the sails flapping wildly. The crew could do nothing to get her to back down away from the wind and it was clear that the leeward rudder had snapped off.   

“We quickly got the boat going downwind again by using the sails to steer, and finally heeled the boat to windward so the weather rudder would control the boat while we assessed the damage,” explained skipper Ken Read.  “Then, we had to literally stop the boat and take down the sails to fit our emergency rudder,” he said.  “We’ll race as best we can.  Our emergency rudder system is pretty slick.  Time will tell if we have more rudder problems.  We are all certainly a bit concerned right now,” he added.

Puma Crew Repairing Rudder (Photo By Rick Deppe / PUMA Ocean Racing /Volvo OCean Race)

Puma Crew Repairing Rudder (Photo By Rick Deppe / PUMA Ocean Racing /Volvo OCean Race)

 

PUMA Crew Prepairing to Mount New Rudder (Photo by Rick Deppe / PUMA Ocean Racing / Volvo Ocean Race)

PUMA Crew Prepairing to Mount New Rudder (Photo by Rick Deppe / PUMA Ocean Racing / Volvo Ocean Race)

The dreaded downwind battle has also brought disappointment for the crew of Telefónica Black, who led the fleet for part of this 2,550 nm leg.  “We got into harder running conditions last night and had to accept that our boat speed was not matching the others,” wrote a despondent navigator, Roger Nilson. 

Ericsson 4 slipped effortlessly past and then to add to their humiliation, the Telefónica Black crew could only watch as PUMA flew past, sailing more than a knot faster and a few degrees lower and, much to the annoyance of the Black boat’s crew, flying her biggest masthead gennaker in 25 knots of cold air.  Telefónica Black had been nose diving and had become unmanageable with the large masthead gennaker in the building breeze, and consequently, the crew was only able to fly a furling fractional gennaker.

“The Blue boat embarrassed us the same way as PUMA, but it was a bit more painful with PUMA as she was so close when she passed us – just a few hundred metres away,” said Nilson.

To make matters worse, flying up behind was Delta Lloyd.  “She was a dot on the horizon to the south, and a few hours later, she had disappeared straight in front of us.  She totally out-sailed us with 1.5 knots more speed and going as much as five degrees lower.  What to do?” questioned Nilson.    Their Achilles heel was hurting and there was no medicine.    They are now in sixth place.

Wouter Verbraak, the Dutch navigator onboard third-placed Delta Lloyd described the conditions as wild.  “Tons and tons of water are crashing over the bow as we accelerate down the waves and spear through the next one.” 

Throughout the night, Delta Lloyd opted for the relatively ‘safe’ set up of a fractional code zero headsail and a reefed mainsail, but when daylight came, it became clear that several boats in the fleet were putting the hammer down again. 

The Delta Lloyd crew faced a dilemma.  Would they be able to handle the boat with the A6 fractional spinnaker and be faster and lower, or was the sea state still too bad?  Would they be better to continue with their current set up?  Verbraak said they would be patient and wait to see how the sea state developed, but it is hard to hold back when the fleet is putting the throttle down.  “Pitch-poling [a scary wipe-out when the boat does a cartwheel] is expensive…,” noted Verbraak. 

Last night was an expensive time in terms of miles lost for the Green Dragon Team who, at 3am and on the edge of control in winds gusting to 42 knots, lost all their electronic instruments. “What do you do next?” asked skipper Ian Walker.  Was this a question that he expected answering by gaming community?  

Walker knew the answer:  “You pray the helmsman somehow manages to keep steering that fine line between success and failure.  The reality is that he will only succeed for a short while before a wave or gust catches him out, and sure enough, that’s what happened.”

All hands were called to shorten sail.  Down below was a mass of sleepy bodies trying to get dressed as the boat lay on her side.  On deck, the crew fought to regain control, while navigator Ian Moore went below to set about fixing the electrical problem.  “Why do these things always happen at night and in the biggest gust of the day?” asked Ian Walker.

Walker confirmed that minutes later the team was up and running again with no damage to the boat or sails.  This happened twice  more during the night and contributed to a loss of miles after good gains before nightfall.  The team is now in fifth place, 38 miles behind Ericsson 4.

Even this morning, Walker was ankle-deep in water as he sat typing his daily report to the race office and nobody was on deck without being harnessed to the boat.  “You need little reminder of why, as time and time again, people are washed down the decks.  On deck is no fun at night, but has turned into fantastic sailing by day,” Walker said.

The fleet maybe divided by 108 nm north to south, but on the leaderboard, the differences are minimal and only 50 nm separate Ericsson 4 in first place and Ericsson 3 in last place.  Twenty-four hour runs are approaching the 550 mark.  Ericsson 4 is currently logging 538 in the last 24-hour period.

 “This leg is setting up for an amazingly close finish into Galway, but wherever we finish, the memory of this leg will live with me. What we do in these boats is quite extraordinary,” Green Dragon’s skipper said.

Scoring Gate Order
1. Telefónica Blue at 03:11.24 GMT
2. PUMA at 03:12.04 GMT
3. Ericsson 4 at 03:33.05 GMT
4. Ericsson 3 at 04:06.02 GMT
5. Telefónica Black at 04:36.54 GMT
6. Delta Lloyd at 06:16.00 GMT

Leg Seven Day 7: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

1. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTL 702 nm
2. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +13
3. Delta Lloyd NED (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +19
4. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +25
5. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +38
6. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) + 42
7. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +50

Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

ken

Puma Ocean Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

 

PUMA Ocean Racing snapped their Leeward Rudder this evening and has replaced the rudder with the emergency spare and are proceeding toward Ireland.

Ken Read tells about the breakage in an email this evening “Why can’t we catch a break! We get ourselves into first and sail the boat hard only for a catastrophe to rear its ugly head again. This time in the form of our rudder – or lack thereof!

Sailing on starboard tack at about 1800 GMT we had about 28 knots of wind and were going pretty quick with an A-zero and full mainsail. The sea state was quite awkward. A ton of water was coming over the deck with each wave but it was no big deal. All of a sudden we got a pretty nasty puff and we were off. We were a bit on the edge and did a small spin out. I heard a bang at the back of the boat and hoped like hell that it was the runner block hitting the boom or something. It wasn’t. When the boat sat on its side with the sails flopping and there was nothing that we could do to get it back down away from the wind, it was clear that the leeward rudder had snapped off. We quickly got the boat going downwind again by using the sails to steer, and finally heeled the boat to windward so the weather rudder would control the boat while we assessed damage. Then we had to literally stop the boat and take down the sails and fit our emergency rudder to proceed to Ireland. We’ll race as best we can. Our emergency rudder system is pretty slick. Time will tell if we have more rudder problems. We are all certainly a bit concerned right now.

However, we can leave it to Capey [Andrew Cape, AUS] to lighten up the situation and get everybody back into the swing of things…. Here we are in the North Atlantic about halfway to Ireland and there is a loud bang and it is full stop onboard. Everyone is a bit pissed off. Capey comes out of the hatch comes with his duffel bag over his shoulder, and says “last time I was here I heard the same noise and then it was time to get off”. [He was talking about when the keel system broke on movistar in the last race and they sadly had to abandon ship. Eventually the boat was lost. It happened eerily close to our position here tonight when the rudder snapped off.] After a good laugh, the team onboard went to work and now we are back sailing again. I guess it is all in a days work. I just hate to go to work on days like this.

– Kenny”