Saturday, April 22, 2006

Secret of Success

After the end of leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race there is a massive 34 points difference between leaders ABN1 and trailing Ericsson. The two stories of "what's wrong with Ericsson" and "what makes the black boat go so fast" have led to speculations about hulls and keels, such as this.

Recently the focus has switched from whats going on under the boat to what's above it, with a series of comments and posts about rigging and sails. On the Volvo TV show last week Tom Braidwood of Ericsson pointed out that with their hull so similar to Pirates - if not better - it must be some other issue, such as the rigging or sails.

And Ericsson's switch from Doyle to North Sails was also raised by Kostecki in an interview reported here. And there are some other interesting comments about choice of sails for the last leg to be found here and here.

Leg 5 was a tighter race, with movistar finally giving ABN1 a run for their money. And the fight between them, ABN2 and Pirates for 2nd is going to be intense all the way to the final finish line. Hopefully all the keels will work so the teams can focus on what will give them the edge, right above their heads.

Images from

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