Crack in hull forces Nordic team to relinquish their second place and head for Taiwan

Tuesday 27 January 2009 06:30 GMT

Ericsson 3 joins Telefonica Black on the sidelines as the heinous conditions on leg four continue to exact a toll on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. The Nordic team was in second place overnight, when the crew discovered water coming into the boat from a series of cracks in the forward part of the hull.

The boat was taking on water at one point, but the crew has stopped the ingress and pumps on board have taken care of the problem. The crew is safe and the team is in contact with the race office for support.

“At 00:15, we discovered water ingress in the foward part of the boat,” reported navigator Aksel Magdahl. “The water was coming in quickly so we had to turn downwind and put on the water pumps and do some temporary repairs to the damaged area…

“That’s unfortunately the end of this leg for us. At the moment we are heading for Taiwan. The situatino is under control, we’ve got rid of the water quickly and we’re not slamming any more so we hope to be ok until we get to shore…

“Now that we are stable the disappointment is starting to sink in.”

It had been a great leg up to that point for the Nordic crew, who were in second place, behind Telefonica Blue but ahead of overall race leader, Ericsson 4.

“It’s a cruel blow to the crew and the team, but right now the safety of the crew is paramount,” said Richard Brisius, Ericsson Racing Team Managing Director. “They have done such an incredible job to stay in among the top three boats in the fleet throughout these very bad conditions. Now we have to set our sights on this new challenge, which is to get Ericsson 3 back racing.

“It’s hard to say how significant the damage is as the crew can’t inspect the exterior of the hull. All necessary safety measures have been taken on board the boat, including asking the Race Office to arrange for a support vessel to escort Ericsson 3 into port. As a team we need to assess the situation thoroughly, and we don’t want to speculate before we have more information.”

Ericsson 3 is due into port in Taiwan near noon GMT.


Telefonica Blue in the rough stuff

Ericsson 3’s navigator Aksel Magdahl – decribes conditions and the dliema surrounding the decisions whether to continue

Puma breaks her boom

Video as the forestay breaks on Green Dragon

PODCAST – Hear just how concerned were the crews were before they set off

Volvo Skippers and navigators talk of their anxieties before the start of this brutal leg