Ericsson Jason Carrington reflects on a wild first week

In an exclusive report for Yachting World, Ericsson crewmember and construction manager of the boat Jason Carrington takes a look back at a lively first week to the Volvo Ocean race and considers what he has seen so far in the other boats’ performances.

“It was as always an emotional departure from Vigo, but good to get going and good to head the fleet out. Within hours of leaving, the breeze built, with a full on war zone developing, ballast tank emptied through a broken conduit and then the steering chain broke in half. Tommy (Braidwood) and I got thrown around in the back of the bus trying to get things back together, while Gizmo (Guillermo Altadill) steered to leeward and took the brunt of the fire hosing. Most of us suffered at least heavy bruising from being thrown down by waves thundering across the deck.

“Soon the news came of Telefonica and the Pirates withdrawal. I feel really sorry for these two teams. After all the hard work, this must have been an extremely hard blow. I probably understand more than most what is expected of these boats. They are the first generation and as such problems will occur. I have not once relaxed yet about our boat and am very aware that it does not take much to stop you racing! Lots more sleepless hours to come listening to odd noises.

“This has been a really fast trip, less than 1000 miles to the island and only been sailing 6 days!! All onboard in good spirits, very nice sailing at the moment although very wet on deck. I am some what dismayed by the pace that ABM One is setting! We just don’t quite seem to be able to find our sweet spot at this angle. ABN are simply on fire and in another league. It is a long race and we know they have some weaknesses! Can’t panic yet but have to congratulate Juan K and the ABN team for a boat that at this point of sail is quite simply blowing us all away! It’s always hard to loose miles on the sched but the last couple of days have been brutal. Our time will come!

On standby now so have to go and cook up some more freeze dried, am already sick of it!”

Jason Carrington