Fire aboard ABN AMRO Two and structural problems for ABN AMRO One on Leg 2 of Volvo Ocean Race 19/1/06

No mention of keel problems or dismasting this morning but a fire aboard ABN AMRO Two and reinforcement fatigue on ABN AMRO One is causing more stress for the leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Mike Sanderson and team on ABN AMRO One are currently nursing what they describe as ‘fatigue on a forward longitudinal reinforcement’. They discovered the problem a few days ago so are taking it as easy as possible on the last stretch to the finish across the Great Australian Bight to Melbourne. Despite their added worry however, Sanderson and team are continuing to battle it out with teammates on AMRO Two and have, overnight, increased their lead to 53 nautical miles. They are currently making 15kts in an 18kt breeze.

Chatting from the ABN AMRO One Sidney Gavignet expressed his concerns: “The unreliability of the fleet is disturbing; the next leg is the one with Cape Horn in it? From our side we are permanently taking the foot of from the accelerator, we have a fatigue on a forward longitudinal reinforcement. We are making our best not to hit the waves, which is something easier said than done.”

The fire aboard ABN AMRO Two yesterday, has been dealt with but Seb Josse and his young team are now concerned that they have lost some of their communications. According to Simon Fisher (SiFi) the navigator the fire destroyed some of their wiring which is having an effect on their communications. However, SiFi then added: “? it was not too serious, just a major inconvenience.” see Fisher’s report here 

The leading two boats now have just over 500 miles to the finish line in Melbourne which means they should cross the finish line tomorrow evening between 1700-2000.

Further down the fleet in third place the Spanish team on movistar is now 161 miles from the leader with no real major problems to announce this morning. Last night however, Bouwe Bekking described the situation slightly improved although the sea was still incredibly confused. “The wind has dropped. And for the time being, we’re canting the keel again to max 20 degrees of cant. Still we are very careful, not that long to go.”

ING Real Estate Brunel is a couple of 100 miles from Eclipse Island and should start to see land in a few hours.

The latest news of the stricken yacht Brasil 1 who was dismasted yesterday is finally underway doing seven knots in the right direction towards Australia. They have about 1,352 miles to Freemantle and about 1,340 to Eclipse Island where the current plan is to score what points are available before they repair or replace the mast and carry on. But at seven knots, 1,300 miles is 185 hours, or nearly eight days. Eight days is too long as they plan to get to the Melbourne In Port race.