This morning, the chopping and changing at the front continued, with Ericsson 4 back in front of Ericsson 3 and leading the fleet. Yesterday Anders LEWANDER (SWE) and his Nordic crew on Ericsson 3 had led the leg briefly. However, Torben GRAEL (BRA) and his all-star cast on sistership Ericsson 4 regained the advantage overnight and have since turned on the afterburners, cruising along at 23 knots this morning. GRAEL and co hold an 8nm advantage at the front, with PUMA now in third 45nm back and Telefónica Blue fourth.
The jury is clearly out on Green Dragon as to whether the crew should attempt to repair their broken boom or not. Skipper Ian WALKER (GBR) says the boat is still going well with no boom. "When we have the mainsail set up, it looks good. The problems are when we need to react quickly to shifts of gusts as have about four sheets hanging off it." He says repairing the boom could be more of a distraction, especially as even with the repair, it will far from 100 percent.
Meanwhile, Tom BRAIDWOOD (AUS) and Damian FOXALL (IRL) have been busy fixing other things, including water leaking badly through the glue joining the port daggerboard. While they were making the repair, the steering sheave, which prevents the boat from Chinese gybing, came off.
BRAIDWOOD assessed the damage and decided on stopping the leak first, as the team was able to steer with the leeward wheel. BRAIDWOOD is in the mood for repairs and is keen to have the challenge of repairing the boom, but he is waiting for WALKER to give him the go ahead. If the repair is attempted, BRAIDWOOD says it will be from a combination of mainsail battens, glue, carbon and anything else he can find. He says it will look ugly, but if it works, he will be very happy.
Meanwhile, the Team Russia (Andreas HANAKAMP/AUT) crew was unfortunate enough to catch about seven metres of heavy, arm-thick rope around the port rudder, which stalled the boat and slowed it down.
The fleet is all beam reaching towards the finish in Cochin, India, and is in, or almost into the tradewinds. There will be around three more days of these fast conditions before the teams arrive at the lottery of the Doldrums for the second time in this race. It will be interesting to see how the fleet tackles this obstruction. "For sure, there will differing opinions," says BEKKING.
Leg Two Day Ten: 10:00 UTC Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben GRAEL/BRA) 1476nm
Ericsson 3 SWE (Anders LEWANDER/SWE) DTF +8nm
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken READ/USA) +45
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe BEKKING/NED) +54
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian WALKER/GBR) +73
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando ECHAVARRI/ESP) +115
Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto BERMUDEZ/ESP) +194
Team Russia RUS (Andreas HANAKAMP/AUT) +203
Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard - Provisional
(After Leg Two scoring gate)
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben GRAEL), 18 points
2. Puma Il Mostro (Ken READ), 14 points
3. Green Dragon (Ian WALKER), 14 points
4. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe BEKKING), 12 points
5. Telefónica Black (Fernando ECHAVARRI), 8.5 points
6. Ericsson 3 (Anders LEWANDER), 8.5 points
7. Team Russia (Andreas HANAKAMP), 6.5 points
8. Delta Lloyd (Ger O'ROURKE), 4.5 points
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