A tough 24 hours for Green Dragon who has paid the price for its more northerly position

The Volvo Ocean fleet has changed course and is now heading south as conditions remain at 15 knots. And a clear gap has emerged; Ericsson 4 is in pole position and with Puma in second, have pulled away from the chasing pack with a 135 mile lead. Ericsson 3 is holding third place, while Green Dragon is chasing in fourth – some 60 miles behind. Telefónica Blue are bringing up the rear in fifth, 72 miles behind Ian Walker and his crew.

Update from Skipper Ian Walker / Green Dragon:

“It has been a tough 24 hours for the Green Dragon as we have been consistently slower than the leaders and have also paid the price for our more Northerly position. We didn’t mean to be quite so far north, but had a long period of light and lifted winds two days ago that ushered us North. We also had to come up to thread our way through some small Japanese Islands – why is it that when you are in a huge ocean the islands always end up right where you wish to pass? I guess it is for the same reason you always seem to end up on collision course for any ships nearby.”

“Everybody is very philosophical about the miles we have lost. It is always going to be difficult against these boats and we are pleased to now be back on track over the last few scheds. It is a long way to Rio and our game plan of sailing what we believe to be the right way irrespective of the other boats will not change. I am surprised to hear the lads already talking about when we will get to Rio – personally I am trying to put it out of my mind until after we round Cape Horn. It’s a bit early to display the miles to go just yet.”

“Life onboard is very comfy (for a Volvo 70) with everyone catching up on sleep and the thermal layers and boots are being replaced with shorts and light weight shoes. Suncream and sunglasses made an appearance today and you can feel the heat of the sun for the first time since leaving the Phillipines. Before long we will have to dig out the fans to help us sleep at night. Even the food seems to taste better this leg although we seem to have forgotten the powdered milk which rules out a nice cup of tea. Maybe it will be in tomorrow’s food bag!”

Race Positions – Day Six: 06:00 GMT

Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 10635 nm
Puma Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) 13
Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) 102
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) 223
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) 270

Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS