VOR crews are making the most of the light airs before next week’s Southern Ocean onslaught
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet continues where it left off three weeks ago – before the stopover in Auckland – with a close race battle leaving only three miles between the top six boats. Assa Abloy, the winner of the last leg, and Amer Sports Too are hanging back slightly but in the light airs, there is still plenty of time for place changing.
Crews are making the most of the light airs before the onslaught of the Southern Ocean which guarantees heavy winds and ice cold water. Knut Frostad, skipper of the Norwegian yacht djuice, reflected during a night watch: “It feels a bit strange right now. Here we are sailing side by side in flat water, only seven knots of wind. It’s so quiet I can hear the guys breathing in their bunks. In a week we will hardly hear our voices for all the noise on deck from waves breaking over the deck, winches grinding and crew screaming.”
All the crews thoroughly enjoyed Auckland, taking a holiday or going home to see families over the three-week period. But now they are all glad to be back on the racecourse. Nick White from News Corp wrote: “We’re finally back at sea. The last week seems to have dragged on, so most of us are very pleased to be back here and we are one step closer to Rio!” Gurra Krantz, who left his family onshore, also sees the good sides of racing again: “Good to be back on the water. Of course we like it in Auckland, and of course it is hard to leave our nearest and dearest. Despite that, the best thing for us on SEB is to get back into the racing after our disastrous leg 3.” On the first night he was not so lucky, when he cut himself on a knife when shifting sails. The latest medical technology repaired it quickly, however – on board medic Glen Kessels applied special superglue to the wound and simply put it back together.
One of the new faces in this edition of the race is previous race winner Paul Cayard. It didn’t take him long to get back into the rhythm of round the world racing: “Now that we have been out here for a few hours, it is all coming back to me. The motion, the sounds, the small quarters.” This time around he will find a fellow Star sailor on board, Freddy Loof, who won gold in 2001, 13 years after Paul Cayard won it.
And they are all very aware that they may just have seen the last bit of land before Cape Horn 4,000 miles away.
Position Report, Day 2, 0959 GMT
3 ILBK (1 mile from leader)
4 NEWS (2 miles from leader)
5 TSEB (2 miles from leader)
6 DJCE (3 miles from leader)
7 AART (6 miles from leader)
8 ATOO (19 miles from leader)