North or south? – it’s a tough decision but crucial Tyco safe and ready for action – with seven legs to go, Tyco has her chance to fight back djuice dragon leads but for how long? – Splitting from Assa Abloy could be a big mistake for the Norwegians
- North or south? – it’s a tough decision but crucial
- Tyco safe and ready for action – with seven legs to go, Tyco has her chance to fight back
- djuice dragon leads but for how long? – Splitting from Assa Abloy could be a big mistake for the Norwegians
Dodging icebergs in 30 knots of wind in the big seas of the Southern are some the most stressful sailing conditions the VOR crews are ever likely to experience. Having left Cape Town just over a week ago, the fleet immediately headed south to pick up the Roaring Forties and ride the low pressure systems that continue to move along the Southern Ocean.
In exceptionally fast conditions which have seen Team News Corp cracking the speed record of 451.2 miles in 24 hours, the fleet has passed the Kerguelen Islands and is now heading for the Eclipse Island off South West Australia. However, judging the complex weather systems and deciding whether to take the southerly or northerly route is the biggest tactical decision crews have had to make, the outcome of which will undoubtedly decide their positioning as they head for Sydney.
Those who’ve opted for the northerly route including Assa Abloy, SEB and illbruck are already beginning to see a benefit and if the predicted strong north-westerly appears, expect to see the lead change within the next few hours. Assa Abloy is leading the northern pack and are fighting fit once again having repaired their broken carbon fibre steering wheel. However, reports from the boat proves that they are having a tough time and are looking forward to reaching Sydney. “It’s like being on a freight train, charging through a tunnel and thrown from side to side. The daylight hours are more bearable because you can see the waves coming and at least have a chance of spotting any looming icebergs. The only ice we really want to see is the that in the G&Ts when we reach Sydney!” said Jason Carrington.
No one would have predicted the fate that lay ahead of Tyco as she led the fleet off the startline at Cape Town. Seven days later her dreams were shattered when a broken rudder forced her to withdraw from the leg and head back to Port Elizabeth. Thankfully however, it’s not all doom and gloom. She’s now arrived safely in South Africa once again and the crew are working hard to get the boat back in racing trim and flown out to Sydney ready for the start of the next leg. With a fourth place from Leg 1 and a RTD in Leg 2, Team Tyco can’t afford any more low scores but the equal points scoring system has given Tyco another chance to prove herself and providing she gains some top results in the seven remaining legs, there’s nothing to stop her taking an overall win.
So, it seems the recent crew changes and in-depth team talks aboard the Norwegian boat djuice dragons has really started to pay off. Having spent the first leg of the race floundering at the back of the fleet on a starvation diet, Knut Frostad and team are revelling in the wild Southern Ocean conditions and holding off the likes of News Corp and Assa Abloy who are just three miles astern. In such a vulnerable position however, it’s therefore surprising they’ve opted for the southerly route round the island and not covered Assa Abloy who looks as though she could take over pole position once again when the north-westerly wind kicks in within the next few hours. If Assa Abloy gets ahead at this stage, she’ll be a hard boat to beat and the chances of getting through her on the sleigh ride to Australia will be pretty slim.