Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crash and Burn: Team Russia reports in...

Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race(l-r) Iker Martinez and Pepe Ribes hang on as a huge wave hits Telefonica Blue, on leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Cape Town, South Africa to Cochin, India

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean RaceThe deck of PUMA Ocean Racing, covered in water, on leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Cape Town, South Africa to Cochin, India

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean RaceIan Walker's Green Dragon sufferers a broken boom as the fleet continued to wrestle with strong gusts and treacherous seas as the second leg of the race to India turned spiteful.

After experiencing a fairly incident packed first few days on the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Russia’s skipper Andreas Hanakamp is fairly philosophical; “We’ve had a tough few days, but no more or less than expected, that is what the Volvo Ocean Race is all about. If you push the boat to its limits, things happen like broaches. It’s a calculated risk, sometimes things go wrong and you have to recover – get on with the job and start pushing again.”

Of course Team Russian is not the only boat that has broached this leg. Unfortunately Green Dragon suffered a full Chinese gybe and reported earlier today a broken boom. Sails are being shredded all over the fleet as sailors and boats have a baptism of fire during the first few days of Leg 2.

Navigator Wouter Verbraak reports of waves roaring over the deck, intense loud slamming and hanging on to your bunk whilst trying to catch some sleep. “What’s up? I thought this was meant to be a nice sub-tropical leg,” ponders Wouter. “Forget the champagne sailing, the only bubbles we are seeing are on the camera lenses. Forget the 80s look with shorts, T-shirts and Ray-Bans, think survival suits and helmets. Forget a nice foie-gras on toast, think how do I get as many calories as possible in without spilling the whole lot on the ceiling?”

In a radio interview with Andreas earlier today, he reported that everyone on board was in good spirits, “For sometime it was very tiring, action packed sailing combined with the frustration of getting trapped in the shadow of Table Mountain just after the start. Everybody needed to get back into the rhythm of the boat, but there was no chance, once we got going we found we had some issues with the canting keel and then an electrical problem. Now we’ve solve these gremlins, the rhythm is established, people are on and off watch getting on with their job – everything is settling down and we are all fine.” Read more...