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Greetings from the good ship Ericsson 4
Sunday 12 October 2008 13:15:00
It's been a pretty action packed first 24 hours onboard!
We were fortunate enough to get a good start, and that kind of made up for our in-port stars! It was fantastic to see the amount of spectator boats that braved the weather and cheered us off on our merry way. Thanks Alicante.
The first three hours had us touching speeds of 30 knots with the boat completely underwater. Some of us had harnesses on only 40 minutes after the start gun! (nothing like starting quietly eh?)
It became apparent early on, that this race is going to be one hell of a fight all the way to St Petersburg. Everyone seems to be on the pace and the slightest mishap, could cost you bad.
We had a comfortable lead on PUMA early on, and lost the whole lot, and more in 15 minutes due to a small shift offshore.
The entire night involved all hands on deck. No one has had any sleep yet, and we expect that for another 24 hours at least. The only way to stay in the front row of the grid, is to work extremely hard. Every tack or gybe involves all hands and when the manoeuvre is completed, it's another 15-20 minutes changing the interior stack.
Right now, we are short-tacking up through the Straits of Gibraltar, only a few miles ahead of Ericsson 3, who is in second place right now. The last 15 hours has been just like back in Lanzarote. The two boats neck and neck!! All the boys are pretty tired, but we're giving it our all out here.
I just want to give a special mention to our shore support team who gave us a very well prepared boat. They worked some horrendous hours over the last few months and the end result was two very shipshape vessels. Nice work guys. Hope you get some well deserved time off now.