The four leaders in the Volvo Ocean Race are stretching apart in the final run to the Leg One finish at Cape Town, with first-place ABN AMRO One setting a new 24-hour monohull distance record of 546 nautical miles. From the official VOR site: Fastest on the planet.
Meanwhile, aboard Ericsson, currently in fourth place, last night got very exciting at one point. Again from the official site: Bitter blow for Ericsson.
“We were reaching on starboard tack at a speed of 20 knots,” explains Ericsson skipper Neal McDonald, “The boat was fully loaded, but these were normal sailing conditions. At 0045 GMT, we suddenly heard a loud bang. We immediately stopped the boat and took the mainsail down to investigate the problem. There was no visible damage, but it was obvious that the keel was flopping from side to side! After a few minutes of work, Richard Mason managed to lock the keel in one safe position. We are now sailing towards Cape Town in a much-reduced capacity.”
Photo: ABN AMRO One gives crew the firehose treatment in the Atlantic. Photo courtesy of the official ABN AMRO site.