Tuesday, May 09, 2006


The short sprint from Baltimore to New York is keeping the Volvo Ocean Race crews on deck and lacking in sleep. With only 75 miles to go before reaching the Ambrose lighthouse, leading yacht ABN Amro One has had a tough time in the last 36 hours. They are currently 25 miles offshore, just north of Delaware heading towards Barnegat Bay, with wind speeds varying wildly from between 23 and 32 knots, but wind now dropping significantly in the last six hours indicating a slow crawl towards the bright lights of New York. It's now a dead beat up the coast.

It was a bumpy first night last night, and skipper Mike Sanderson has not slept yet, such is his desire to wrack up maximum points for this leg. Sanderson reported gusts of over 40 knots and the crew shortened sail last night to a mainsail with three reefs and a number four jib.

Even that combination was a little too much at times. “Driving the boat was just a nightmare,” says Sanderson. “There was this icy sleet that was hitting the bare skin of your face like small sharp rocks, the boat was getting thrown around like clothes in a washing machine as the waves got bigger and bigger.”

Monday night, with just 93 miles to go before crossing the finish line in the Hudson River, speeds are dropping as the wind goes light, giving the chasing Farr Yacht Design boats a chance to show their true colors.

SOURCE: Scuttlebutt

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