Friday, April 17, 2009

Bouwe Bekking does it again:

Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/VolvoOcean Race
Telefonica Blue first across the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate
Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 has been going well for Bouwe Bekking and his crew onboard Telefonica Blue. They had been leading the fleet out of Rio by an ever-growing margin and at 19:50 GMT yesterday Telefonica Blue was the first to cross the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate, adding an additional 4 points to their overall score as they make their way to Boston.

"We have made the right calls since our first night out of Rio, and since then we have been consistent and of course, the boat has been going well," said Bouwe Bekking of his team's performance. "It is a pretty good feeling, especially after all the mishaps in the last leg, we have showed again how quickly we can bounce back. Not only for us as a sailing team, but also for the shore crew who have busted their bums to give us this fantastic boat."

Telefonica Blue has added eight points to the leaderboard in less than two weeks thanks to an easy win in the Rio in-port race and the Fernando de Noronha gate crossing. For Bouwe, the result at this gate crossing may come as no surprise as he managed the same feat in the last edition of the VOR, leading Movistar across this same waypoint ahead of the fleet on the leg from Rio (BRA) to Baltimore (USA).

Currently third in the overall standings, Telefonica Blue has far from finished the 2008-2009 edition of this legendary race. Perhaps good fortune is finally smiling on the Spanish boat considering the difficulties the team has already been up against in this edition of the race.

Bouwe and his crew suffered greatly in Leg 5- their start began delayed by 19 hours and even so they managed to push forward to take the lead at one point on the way to Rio. Then the forestay broke, greatly slowing their progress and resulting in a discouraging last place for the Leg. However the team did all within their power to keep spirits up and it did not take long for them to recover, with the results of the Rio in-port race as evidence of their efforts.

Telefonica Blue began Leg 6 with high hopes, and the miles between the team and the rest of the fleet only continue to grow. As an added bonus, following the latest results including the Fernando de Noronha waypoint crossing, there are only 0.5 points overall in between Bouwe Bekking's boat and their second-place-overall-rivals, Ken Read's Puma Ocean Racing (USA).
When asked where his focus lies for the rest of the leg, Bouwe replies, "the key point is to stay ahead of ERT4, Puma and the rest of the boats when we cross the ridge of high pressure of the Bermuda high- that will be crucial." -