Friday, January 9, 2009


After what we saw in Alicante, some may say TELEFONICA BLUE is comfortable racing around the buoys. Bouwe, who will call the tactics while Iker Martínez drives, like he did in the first in-port race, agrees, although this time there will be some differences compared to Alicante, which was the team's home for some months before the start of the race. "The racecourse looks to be much smaller than in Alicante, so the most important thing is to get around the course and to make sure the spinnaker comes down cleanly. It is not ideal, the course is very short, but it is the same for all the other boats. So, the key will be to sail carefully. We have the same two grinders from Alicante back onboard -Carlo Castellano and Federico Giovanelli-, so that is nice."

For this in-port race, the weather forecast says the boats should e xpect a tough scenario, especially given the length of the racecourse. "It looks like it's going to be a windy day, so I think the team who makes the least mistakes will win. Speed is not so important, and we know all boats in the race are capable of winning if they sail well".

What is clear is that TELEFONICA BLUE will fight hard for the 4 points awarded to the winner of the in-port race. At this stage, Bouwe's team stands 4.5 points behind the leader in the overall. Ericsson 4 has 35 points ahead of TELEFONICA BLUE's 30.5. A good result in Singapore could mean closing the gap a little bit more.

After this weekend's in-port race, the teams will have another week before the restart of the main race on Saturday 16 January, when they set off on Leg 4 from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Bouwe is clear there will be plenty to do for TELEFONICA BLUE in the remaining days before facing yet another unknown leg, "we'll have one more day of sailing, a couple of days off a nd, then of course, we have to put all the gear and sails back onboard."

It all seems nice and simple. Load up the boat and off they go. Reality is quite different. What the crews have to face from the sound of the gun at the start until they cross the finish line in Qingdao has the makings of a nightmare: 2,500 nautical miles north, most of it upwind and going from 30ºC plus of Singapore to the around -10ºC of Qingdao... But that's another story Bouwe will tell you about next week on