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Roaring Forties

VOR

Roaring Forties

Not
latitude, but wind speeds, that’s what’s predicted for the
Volvo Ocean Race fleet en route for Capetown and it sounds like the teams
are a bit apprehensive about this first gale force wind test of boats
built for a race that is to spend a lot of time crossing and re-crossing
the equator. “In the old Volvo Ocean 60s, 40 knots would be towards
the upper end of racing mode, but in these boats, 40 knots is a lot more
like survival mode.” wrote Guy Salter from Ericsson 4.

Ericsson 3 navigator, Aksel Magdahl, met with a resolute “That is
not possible with these boats!”, when he showed Magnus Olsson a
sketch of the route and the expected winds along it and Green Dragon skipper,
Ian Walker, is wondering whether the more southerly position he has aimed
for might prove to be a bit too southerly, in a few days time.

Ger O’Rourke and crew are less concerned, on board Delta Lloyd.
The winner of the last VOR has seen it all before and Ger said today “We
still can win with good sailing and lady luck as our boat is still competitive.
More so in big pressure, where every square metre of sail we have flying
may be the deciding factor rather than the generation.” His only
real concern is that, like his boat, his sails are far from current generation
due to the late date that he acquired a sponsor, so yesterday was spent
checking and repairing, so as to be as ready as possible.

Most of the work was minor, but to be on the safe side repairs to the
spreader that was damaged in an accident a week ago were beefed up with
7 layers of carbon. Ger commented “Not pretty, but needed if we
fly a mast head kite on starboard tack in the 30+ knots of forecast downwind
sailing into the Cape.”! Pic from Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd
and more here.
More about the repairs and nurse Polly here.