Weather forecasts are proving correct and the Volvo Baltic Race fleet is enduring light, fluky breeze. The Croatian team sailing AV-Teknik enjoy these conditions and are right back in the game.
At 0600 hours this morning, the fleet had rounded the first turning mark at the south-eastern tip of Sweden. Sony Ericsson (T BLIXT/SWE), the series leader led Team ELANDERS (Matt HUMPHRIES/GBR) by 13 minutes. Avant (M LUNDH) passed next, 10 minutes later, followed by AV-Teknik (M MURTIC/CRO) a further 10 minutes behind. The Norwegian team on JMS Next Generation were struggling almost forty minutes behind AV-Teknik.
During the night, AV-Teknik was in shouting distance of Avant, with JMS Next Generation approximately two miles astern.
By 1250 hours the positions had changed. In the light and fluky conditions, AV-Teknik, just 13 miles east of Simrishamn on the south-eastern tip of Sweden at this point, was able to put in their best performance so far in this series. Although Sony Ericsson still led the fleet, AV-Teknik had passed Avant and was neck and neck with Team Elanders, while JMS Next Generation and Avant were sailing more to the south and stuck under a rain cloud.
"This boat is good in light airs,"
explained an up-beat co-skipper Anders CARLBERG from Sweden. "We're trying hard to predict what the wind is going to do. We are running a watch system of three hours on and six hours off. We are sailing a good race and we're in the competition for the first time."
There have been a lot of changes of wind direction, due some small thunder-clouds in area. At present the fleet has an easterly 4 knot breeze and AV-Teknik was sailing upwind at approx 4 knots.
Positions overall after leg 5 (leg 4 postponed)
1 Sony Ericsson (Thomas Blixt, Swe) 14.0 points
2 Team Elanders (Matthew Humphries, UK) 13.0 points
3 JMS Next Generation (Stefan Eneman, Swe/Kjell-Inge Heiberg, Nor) 7.5 points
4 Avant (M Lundh, Swe) 7.0 points
5 AV Teknik (Marko Murtic, Cro) 3.5 points