Monday, January 26, 2009

New Images - Damage, Repairs and Rough Seas VOR

Mikel Pasabant/Telefonica Black/Volvo Ocean Race
Telefonica Black in 50 knot winds near the Philippines

Casey Smith/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Erle Williams onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China

Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 3 getting closer to the Taiwan coast on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Michael Muller takes a rest from repairs, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China

Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race
Team Delta Lloyd ripped the leach of the mainsail in 40 knots of wind and 5 meter high waves. They had to put up a storm jib and a trysail, while surging for a bay to do the repairs on the main.

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Shannon Falcone tends to PUMA Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read's finger after
he got his finger trapped in a titanium block.
Erle Williams onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 4. -
Update from Green Dragon Racing:
The Dragon maybe wounded but they are determined to sail across the finish line in Qingdao. The pit stop in the Philippines allowed the crew to work around the clock to repair the damaged bow section. But after several hours of racing the Dragon has sustained further damage around the repaired bulkhead. Skipper Ian Walker reported last night, “We were inspecting the bow repair at the time and while the repair held firm the bulkhead let go either side of it. Since then I have been agonising over how best to proceed. Do we go to Hong Kong, Xiamen or even Shanghai to make repairs? Do we go back to Subic Bay? Is it safe to cross the Straits in the current weather? Should we soldier on slowly and nurse the boat to Qingdao - maybe even get there without retiring and using the engine? Right now we are doing just that but more damage could rapidly change things”. The crew will continue to assess the situation and are at present still carrying on, albeit gingerly. This leg is far from over for the Dragon, the crew remain 100% focused on getting to Qingdao, “There is nothing we want more right now than to sail into Qingdao however long it takes us”. Latest updates from onboard suggest that the crew and boat are well and sailing at 90% capacity.

Elsewhere five more boats remain on the race course, Telefonica Black who are now officially retired from the leg, have pulled into Subic Bay, which must seem like a familiar site for the locals after seeing two Volvo 70’s in the Bay the previous morning. Telefonica Blue still holds a plus 38 mile lead over the two Ericsson twins who are chasing hard, but conditions in the region are challenging. Volvo’s race expert Mark Chisnell filled us in: Telefonica Blue, Ericsson 3 and 4 have all been struggling with some difficult conditions. What was happening was that the wind had shifted round to the east, and was blowing directly onto the shore of Taiwan that the leaders were sailing along – and it’s very mountainous. The breeze was swirling up and over the land, making conditions along that windward coastline very difficult... -