Buckin' Volvos

Leg Two, a pleasant jaunt north through the tropics to exotic India? At some point, part of the way, maybe. Not now. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Cape Town last weekend and deliberately worked into the path of a series of low pressure systems to blast them east toward their scoring gate.For some, it's been an overachievement.A broken boom on Green Dragon. Plus a broken
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Leg Two, a pleasant jaunt north through the tropics to exotic India? At some point, part of the way, maybe. Not now. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Cape Town last weekend and deliberately worked into the path of a series of low pressure systems to blast them east toward their scoring gate.

For some, it's been an overachievement.

GuoChuan

A broken boom on Green Dragon. Plus a broken steering system after at least three major knockdowns.

A bruised body (another bruised body) on Ericsson 3, as recounted by media crew Gustav Morin, as the boat swept green water down the deck on a pitch dark night in a 40-knot puff, "Bowman Anders Dahlsjo lost his grip and got smashed into a winch handle down to leeward. The handle bent, and Anders was in agony holding his hand over his ribs. Now we have one more guy on painkillers."

And a broken Puma, for the second time. The first crack (at the bow) took nearly eight hours to patch. This time, flying off a wave to impact and a loud crack, as skipper Ken Reed recounts:

"Three of us were having breakfast and there was a bit of a stare into each others eyes. Justin (Ferris) said, 'That didn't sound good."

"Nope," I said.

"Nico (Chris Nicholson) added, "Maybe it was just an unloaded sheet snapping up on deck?"

"Justin looked down: 'Or maybe it was this large crack splitting the main longitudinal frame?' "

"The master of understatement. "

Faced with the likelihood of working a full day and night to effect a repair that might not stand up to a pounding, Puma diverted north, out of the path of the next, breezy low pressure system, with the risk of perhaps being swallowed by the high they had been trying to skirt. Reed again: "This is not good."

With the fleet tracking east toward a scoring gate, after which they will be able to choose a time to turn north, skirting the high, you have to be a person of opinion to judge who's in the best shape. The numbers don't necessarily tell the story, but the numbers are updated frequently at www.volvooceanrace.org.

Related

Meridian-X-Spin_2

MOB: A Whistle in the Wind

Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his lifejacket he watched his racing sailboat, Meridian X, disappear into the night at more than 18 ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Slapper stopper  When I came on deck at 0800 to hoist my colors on a visitors’ mooring recently, there was an awkward slop running in. This doesn’t trouble my Mason 44, which has a traditional counter ...read more

Tilly-1

Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue Tilley Sailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. ...read more

Sand-TOWEL_MODEL-3

CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone! The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly ...read more

01-Blowup-Tiwal2_sailing-(3)

Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up Boating A few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an ...read more

Koozy

Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer Koozie For all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North ...read more

Cool-Specs

Gear: Gill's Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool Specs Is there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of ...read more

North_new

Gear: North Sails Waterproof Pack

A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in its new roll-over waterproof ...read more