It seems that it’s finally dawned on the skippers in the volvo Ocean Race that the new route may be great for sponsors, but it ain’t great for sailors, or sailing. The patience of the eight crews has been severely tested in Leg Three of the Volvo Ocean Race, with the wind, quite literally, being taken out of their sails. Flat conditions and scorching temperatures have contributed to a different kind of endurance test, one that has left the sailors feeling frustrated and disheartened on the way from Cochin, India, to Singapore. Some crews have even started rationing their food for fear of not arriving in Singapore on December 23, the expected arrival day
Ken Read – Puma: “The Bay of Bengal. Bringing these boats here for this leg is like using a Ferrari for a Tractor Pull. Slogging upwind, tacking on every shift for days. In fact, for one 24-hour period we had 51 squalls come through bringing rain, shift, no shift, wind, no wind etc. You get my drift. Mix in the heat and humidity and you have a real glamorous sailing spot at this moment in time.”
Ian Walker – Green Dragon: “Going upwind in a Volvo 70 sucks. I am beginning to question the merits of the new route through Asia if so much of it is upwind. The first problem is that these boats don’t point very high so it takes forever to get anywhere truly upwind.” That’s just a couple of views about the latest leg in what Bouwe Bekking recently described as “The traveling circus that is the Volvo Ocean Race.” New vids are here.The stories are on SA Sailing News, brought to you by Velocitek.