The unusual light Atlantic conditions are putting a strain on VOR crews

The light airs are really starting to take their toll on the VOR fleet with many crews reporting the intense strain as they spend day after day squeezing every ounce of speed from their racing machines.

These Volvo Ocean 60s, which are designed more for flat-out, downwind racing in big winds and waves, are struggling in the unusual Atlantic conditions. “The word patience,” says Knut Frostad, skipper of djuice dragons, “is not too familiar to anyone who loves speeding down waves faster than the competition. Never in my life has my patience been tested harder.” However, Frostad and crew are determined to leave the past behind and are optimistic about what lies ahead. “We have a race in front of us, about 5,500 nautical miles long. They have given a pack of five a head start of about 100 miles. That’s it. I remember so well from school when I was a kid, they always gave some kids a head start just to make it harder for others to pass them early. But in the end, the early starters often where passed, just before the finish. That’s good news for us!”

With the Trade Winds still failing to materialise it seems a few more thought-provoking days are in store. Let’s hope minds don’t wander too far!