See superb footage from onboard Green Dragon as they make repairs while making-up miles
It is all change in the fleet as they continue to make their way around the ice exclusion zone. Green Dragon’s more southerly position had paid off, as they decided to focus on making up ground on the fleet before the downwind conditions set in and in doing so ignored the scoring gate for the bigger battle ahead.
“Our sole aim has been to stay in touch before the downwind sailing starts. The forecast is for all downwind from the second ice gate and for much of that to be in very windy conditions,” explained skipper Ian Walker.
The fleet must now negotiate the shifty conditions that line the edge of the ice exclusion zone, approximately 175 nm long. They will then head north once more and hopefully hook into the expected low pressure that will slingshot them towards Galway. The northeast corner of the box was yesterday extended to latitude 40 degrees west, due to ice sightings in the region.
See the Green Dragon crew make running repairs to daggerboard – damaged on lobster pots earlier in the leg
More from Skipper Ian Walker:
“[Yesterday was] a very good day. Tactically we benefitted from a few boats reaching hard for the scoring gate and also from a change to the forecast which meant that being South was an advantageous thing. We always knew the first half of this leg would be very hard for us sailing upwind and reaching.
Damaging the daggerboard on the lobster pots made it much harder. Our sole aim has been to stay in touch before the downwind sailing starts. The forecast is for all downwind from the second ice gate and for much of that to be in very windy conditions.
This is something we have not sailed in – close proximity to the other boats – so it will be interesting for everyone. The whole leg is setting up for a grandstand finish in Galway Bay. Mind you if it is blowing over 30 knots Galway Bay will be a pretty tricky place to negotiate.”
Leg Seven Day 5: 0900 GMT Positions
1. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DTL 1680 nm
2. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) 6
3. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) 16
4. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) 17
5. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) 19
6. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) 34
7. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) 44
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS