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20 November 2005, 02:54 pm
The Sweltering Heat Of The Tropics
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

The leading pack in leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race is now in the doldrums, and although they are having an easy ride, it is hot, hot, hot onboard. The black carbon fibre hulls of the Volvo 70s are making sleeping impossible. With black walls everywhere and regular spray over the deck, the interior is now rather like a sauna.

Some boats have opted to use small fans, but Simon FISHER, navigator on ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien JOSSE), currently in second position, says hes sleeping in the nav station just because there is little more airflow.

The stifling conditions, punctuated by dramatic rain clouds, have meant that at least everyone has been able to enjoy a fresh water shower. These are only short lived as it is only a matter of minutes before a wave comes rolling back from the bow and soaking the crew in salt water again.

Adrienne CAHALAN, navigator on Brasil 1 (Torben GRAEL), still in third place, wrote today, We are now at 6N and so far have passed easily through the ITCZ (inter tropical convergence zone known as the doldrums). We watched ABN AMRO ONE ahead barely skip a beat through and so with that and the satellite pictures; we hope that the last few degrees will not be too painful passing this notorious normal area of calms.

This afternoon, all boats in the racing fleet have been chipping away at ABN AMRO ONEs lead, but her nearest rival, ABN AMRO TWO, is still 66 nm behind her. Brasil 1 is 80nm behind and Ericsson (Neal MCDONALD) in fourth, is 89nm behind. Sunergy and Friends are still making reasonable speed but are now 982 nm behind ABN AMRO ONE, as they get to grips with their new racing machine.

It is has been another great 24 hours onboard ABN AMRO TWO, writes navigator Simon FISHER. Our efforts were finally rewarded yesterday evening when we managed to get past Brasil 1 and into second place spot. However, I am sure that holding this place will be as hard, or harder, to keep than it was to gain in the first place so there is no relaxing,

Thoughts onboard have been turning to the imminent crossing of the equator and the ceremonies planned for those onboard who have not crossed it before. Onboard Brasil 1, everyone has, allegedly, done so, therefore there is no need for a special ceremony. Not to be out done, the crew has suggested that they should have at least some kind of ceremony for the only girl onboard. Adrienne is not in favour of this. Can you blame her?

Now back in Denmark, the skipper of the damaged movistar, Bouwe BEKKING has had time to reflect. He says the reality has finally hit him hard. In an extract from his message today, he writes, Our navigator was monitoring the wind speed and wind direction continuously and passing on the optimum course to sail. The watch captains were making the right sail calls, and the bowman was executing perfect sail changes in difficult conditions. The helmsman was driving fast, but controlled, and the trimmers were adjusting the sails all the time. Just routine sailing, running our normal watch system. I realise these area my boys, THE BEST TEAM I HAVE EVER SAILED WITH.

LEG ONE DAY 8, 19.11.95, 1600 GMT POSITION REPORT

Yacht

Latitude

Longitude

DTF

CMG

SMG

DTL

DTLC

LPTS

ETA

Overall

1

ABN1

03 08.79N

030 17.74W

03798

190

13.4

00000

+00000

7.0

29/11/05 __:__:__

1

2

ABN2

04 14.08N

030 08.22W

03864

176

16.0

00066

+00011

6.0

30/11/05 __:__:__

3

3

BRA1

04 23.70N

029 50.47W

03878

179

15.1

00080

+00006

5.0

30/11/05 __:__:__

1

4

ERIC

04 32.84N

029 49.56W

03887

178

15.7

00089

+00009

4.0

30/11/05 __:__:__

3

5

SUNF

19 26.45N

028 05.06W

04780

185

15.1

00982

+00010

3.0

10/12/05 __:__:__

7

6

MOVI

37 07.64N

008 31.80W

06157

000

00.0

02359

-00080

2.0

07/05/06 __:__:__

5

7

POTC

38 41.54N

009 24.95W

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Event Meda (As Amended By ISAF) Image : © Event Media
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