Telefonica Blue won leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China at 07:00:25 GMT. They survived a very brutal leg to get a very solid win. Below is skipper Bouwe Bekking’s report from just 35 miles from the finish. Puma came in an impressive second place even with their broken boom. If you think the big wigs like Ken Read don’t take a beating, take a look at this pic of Read’s injured finger. Ouch!
I was hoping for snow and minus degrees the last time I wrote, but it hasn’t happened. It is actually sunny and "warm" and I think our Spanish speaking boys are very happy with this.
Since we passed the top of Taiwan, we always were on the receiving end of the weather. The guys behind us have always been sailing in lifted breeze, cutting the corner and that hasn’t stopped until just now. 35 miles to go, and we have a lead of just 12 miles left over, and only 5 knots of breeze. It is going to be a tough finish, as we know that we will be sailing in lighter breeze ahead.
I am sure as well that the hole in our crashbow doesn’t help in this drifting conditions, as it creates a very ugly splash. But as long we keep some pressure we should manage to hold on. So how do we feel: nacked is probably the best word to describe all the guys state. Not much time to recover for the next leg of 12,000 mile.
I am sure that some of us will decide to fly home and spend a few days with their family as that is the best way to charge the batteries again. After arrival the boat has to get out of the water, the rig needs a full survey, etc. In reality it means hardly any time for practice sailing for the next week inshore race, if we get a day we will be lucky. But that said we will be way better off than most of the other teams, as I have my doubts if all teams will be ready for the in-port race.
By the time you are reading this, you know what the outcome has been. Anyway, I am really proud of the achievement of our team. They all have been fantastic.