Three yachts dueling for lead off steamy Brazil

Volvo log

Sailing

March 14, 2002|By Chris Larson

Annapolis sailor Chris Larson, tactician aboard Swedish entry ASSA ABLOY in the Volvo Ocean Race, will provide readers of The Sun periodic updates as the fleet heads for the United States.

ABOARD ASSA ABLOY - From the Brazilian Basin 430 miles south of Recife, Brazil, in the Atlantic Ocean, we are sailing Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World from Rio de Janeiro to Miami, and we're four days into the 18-day leg.

Racing has been very competitive so far. After four days of upwind and close-reaching conditions, ASSA ABLOY, Tyco, and illbruck are neck and neck for the lead. Less than a mile separates these boats from windward to leeward, we're working hard to get every [bit] of speed out of these boats.

Conditions are expected to continue for the next few days, allowing the fleet to make good progress up the Brazilian coast. After that, we will be faced with navigating through the infamous Doldrums.

Already we have been experiencing very warm temperatures, making life down below on these Volvo 60s very unpleasant.

The only relief has been a few small showers in the early morning hours. However, the showers are very unwelcome since they create havoc with the wind.

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