I have said that things in the VOR promised to be interesting. Well, look at this:
Strong gale force winds in excess of 45 knots have joined forces with six metre waves in a gang-attack against the fleet that has left sailors and boats reeling in pain.
But the fleet has remained defiant said CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson who is amazed by the punishment the Volvo Open 70s are enduring.
Nicholson admitted some surprise to have survived the battering unscathed up to this point. “So far we haven’t broken anything which is almost surprising given how hard we have been coming off these waves,” he said.
“When we get 45 knots, above 35 knots, we are slowing the boat down a bit to get through it. It should stay at 25 to 30 knots (of wind) tonight and then slowly ease back into the low twenties. So we have to just get through tonight with everything in one piece.”
Despite the tough conditions Nicholson said the CAMPER crew had made few concessions and were pushing hard whenever possible despite the almost impossible environment on deck.
“(On deck) you can’t stand up. If you move anywhere you are crawling around on your hands and knees clipped on. Every little job that we take for granted normally is now a bit of a procedure.
“Everything has a high level of difficulty with it. Just to go over to the leeward side of the boat to ease a sheet the driver has to ease up a little bit otherwise that person gets washed down the deck.”
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 | Defiant fleet on their knees, but battling on
Back on the race Telefonica due to that brilliant move (I confess that it did only seem odd to me at the time
) is leading, Camper is following, Groupama is recovering and overtake Puma and they are all pushing hard.
The ice limit was moved up and that is a pity because the big downwind winds are now off limits
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 | Race Data Center