You’ve got to hand it to those Green Dragon boys. Despite not having a boom, they crossed the scoring gate in third place, behind the Ericsson twins. If you’re thinking “so what, they were sailing downwind” think again. Navigator Ian Moore explains the problem “We still haven’t worked out how to reef, which means we have full main in the 45 knot squalls and when they hit, what do you ease. If you ease the main sheet it just gets rounder and fuller and makes you heel over even more, so you ease everything else and hope that the puff dies out before you wipe out completely.”
What of Puma? Amazingly, despite the serious structural damage, in terms of distance to India they are holding onto third place, behind the two Ericsson boats. They’ve been pretty silent today, regarding the repairs, so fans are just as in the dark about what’s happening as the other boats are. Bouwe Bekking said today “We are a very happy bunch, having passed both Puma and our team mates. I think Puma simply just forgot about the scoring gate, why would you otherwise give these points away?”
One skipper who isn’t worried about his boat is Andreas Hanakamp, who said today “We had lots of discussion during the preparation period about the concept of the boat and, to be honest, it feels very good to sit on a solid boat in the midst of the Southern Ocean. I would be surprised if we were the only boat that broached heavily and certainly not the last.”
“Of course, there is a certain luck factor not to break anything, but a solid boat helps as well. Also, during some of the bigger leaps with the A6 and the Q9 we did in the bigger waves, there were no scary noises from the structure of the boat, just the big bangs when you slam on the water with 30 knots, which is scary and deafening by itself.” Pic from Green Dragon, more here and of course all the stories are on SA Sailing News.