Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Volvo Leg 5

All the boats of the Volvo Ocean race have now crept their way up the Chesapeake and are moored in Baltimore no doubt enjoying Maryland crab cakes washed down with many a cold beer.

The winner was yet again Mike Sanderson and the crew of Black Betty who crossed first to extend further their lead.

Behind them there have been changes in places on the table as movistar finally gets a leg free from major breakages to show the promised potential, and Pirates continues her fight back to get within half a point of ABN2. While at the back the fight between Brazil and Ericsson finally went to the Latins.

So where does this leave the race? Well its congratulations again to ABN1 and well deserved. For while the boat does have an extra gear over the others, we mustn't play down the sailing skill and hard work of all, from skipper, to navigator to each of the crew. The winning margin was only 16 miles over movistar, and it would have taken only small slips in sailing or routing to have lost that.

Its interesting to note the burst of speed that gave ABN1 the edge was when both were reaching in trade winds, which seems to be the black boats sweet spot. For other conditions the boats are much more evenly matched: if only we had access to the full telemetry history to be able to give a more detailed analysis!

And it's commiserations to others. Like Ericsson, who yet again are trailing the pack and seemingly not knowing why. Whether it's the boat or management of the crew - either way morale must still be pretty low.

But for all its time for all to relax and enjoy themselves. And those crab cakes.

Image from http://team.abnamro.com/

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