djuice dragons are the first to qualify for the round the world race

The two Norwegian Volvo yachts, djuice dragons 1 and 2, have become the first of the Volvo Ocean Race yachts to qualify after crossing the Atlantic. Light winds interspersed with strong headwinds made for a slow crossing of 18 days and they arrived in La Rochelle yesterday with slight damage.

“I am glad we now have the qualification race behind us and have put in more miles than any other team with new boats,” said Knut Frostad, skipper of djiuce dragons 1. “It started out well with winds very much in our favour. We left Chesapeake Bay in record time and then had the thrill of surfing the waves at 25 knots. The breeze died for a day or two and we ended up sitting on a mirror waiting for it to come around again – which it finally did, but not before we had experienced some pretty tough upwind conditions in the Bay of Biscay and stressed the boats and the rigs to the limits for three days in a row.

“The boats performed very well, sustaining a little damage but nothing of any concern. Bowman Mikael Lundh hurt his leg when up the mast during a sudden tack but aside from that the whole team is doing very well. The team on djuice 2 raced us very hard and to the last mile we have been in full race mode on both boats. I am most impressed that by next week we will have done three legs of the Volvo Ocean Race with less than 40 hours in port. That’s hard racing for anyone and good training for us.”

The two yachts will spend only 12 hours in La Rochelle before leaving for Göteborg. The boats are in a hurry to make the official christening of djuice dragons on 16 June.