Pace hot, cabin even hotter as fleet runs up Brazil coast

Below decks, environment proves wetter than above

Volvo log


March 15, 2002

ABOARD ASSA ABLOY — 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 - Greetings from the ASSA ABLOY pizzeria!

All is well aboard ASSA ABLOY, and we are working hard to increase our lead on the four Volvo 60s chasing us from close behind.

When I say pizzeria, I really mean to say scorching-hot brick oven. Down below on one of these yachts is incredibly hot these days. Since there is almost no ventilation system aboard, getting any rest can be difficult.

As I sit here writing, I've got a rag in my hand wiping all of the perspiration off my hands and face so that I don't drown the keyboard. The good news is that I'm on deck at least half of the time, where it is much more pleasant.

One of the big topics today is how to rig a system to get more air below. You have to be a good MacGyver to accomplish this difficult mission. Unfortunately, we've tried several techniques, but have failed miserably

On the racing front, we are charging along on a northeasterly course at 10 knots with our A0 and genoa staysail. The winds are from the southeast in the mid-teens, and the weather has been good.

We narrowly missed two rain clouds earlier today, but there will be plenty more to dodge before it's all over. Not much change is expected for the next day or so. This should allow us to make good time up the Brazil coast toward the equator.

So long from the brick oven!

- Chris Larson, ASSA ABLOY

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