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Firehosed


Firehosed


After a week of fire hose conditions and some really fast sailing the Volvo leaders reached the Doldrums on Sunday and have had to endure some painfully light winds, which meant an inevitable closing up. The only benefit was that there were plenty of rain clouds about, which let smelly crew members get a shower and change of clothes. The biggest gains were made by Ericsson 3, which has all but made up for its late arrival and restart in Qingdao and was just 3 miles behind Puma and 25 behind its team mate last night.  The Telefonica Blue boys had a bit of a fright and a set back over the weekend. Bouwe explains “We heard all of sudden a lot of noise and saw a big reduction in boat speed. Quick inspection showed us that the prop box door had opened itself; the opening/closing mechanism had failed. There’s a plexi-glass window on top of the unit, so we saw quickly what we had do. In order to reach this mechanism we had to open the top, but that means that water can rush in very quickly. We prepared the emergency bilge pumps and all the tooling. The slower you go, the less pressure there is on the unit, so less water can come inside of the boat, therefore we dropped the mainsail, and sailed dead downwind as slow as possible. It is always scary to open something that is so close to real water, but it had been designed that the top of the unit is just above the waterline, so theoretically water shouldn’t come in when you go really slow. We had to lower the propeller to get inside the unit, and David and Xabi started the job. Not much water came in, and they fixed it quickly. We lost roughly an hour, and sailing as well in the wrong direction, so we knew we lost some valuable miles, but much better to have smooth hull for another 10,000 miles than sailing around with a hole in the bottom of the bus. It would have been a disaster to lose the door, which is well possible. Pic from Gustav Moran Ericsson 3 and more here.