Whether it’s flapping around in a no-wind hole or barreling down massive graybeards, the Volvo Race boats are slowly working their way across the longest stretch of ocean.
Ross Field, Team News Corp: "It's wet and freezing cold on deck — it’s times like these you are glad of being a navigator, although you do get blamed for everything, e.g., lost miles, bad directions, bad coffee, etc."
Knut Frostad, djuice: "Changing headsails in more than 40 knots is probably the most difficult and dangerous change we have. Six guys hooked on with safety lines on the bow, trying to pull down and in the old jib. The boat is still logging up to 20 knots and suddenly a wave washes the bow, pushing the six big guys back at high speed. Then they crawl forward and start all over again pulling the jib in. Soaking wet but still smiling, we crawl back together in the cockpit."
Mark Christensen, illbruck: "There is so much water, on deck, downstairs, in my clothes, in my sleeping bag. I tell myself that it is okay; at the speed we are going I won't have to put up with it for as long. But it is still difficult climbing out of wet clothes and into a wet bunk."
Several days later, when the fleet dropped into a dead spot:
Rudi Rudiger, Assa Abloy: "Right now we're certainly not on a high. In fact it's downright depressing! After several days of good racing and pushing the front, we are now drifting around watching all the other boats, including Amer Sports One and Amer Sports Too, make up big deficits. They see where the leaders park up, pick a slightly different lane, and throw the dice. With the way this ridge has formed, it is impossible to make an ETA within a day."
Stu Bannatyne, illbruck: "Previously I have said that the good times always outweighed the bad when it came to the Southern Ocean, but that was usually with a few years to forget the low times. With the memory only slightly blurred I think I may be turning … do not delete this message and please show it to me if I start talking about sailing another Volvo Ocean Race."
Stig Westergaard, djuice: "We have absolutely no wind and had absolutely no wind or very close to it all through the night. So as a contrast of magnitude, compared to our previous days of thunder blasting down waves, we are flapping and flapping."
Jez Fanstone, Team News Corp: "The last 15 hours have been incredibly frustrating. One boat will get a little bit of breeze and move forward and then everyone else will get a bit of a breeze and you think you are just breaking through into the lead but then you stop and hit a hole."