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VOR Report: Leg 8 Day 4 - Daily Story: Downwind Dash To Marstrand

There is a lot to be happy about in the Ericsson camp today. Ericsson 4 got the better side of a big wind shift, which propelled her up the order to take over first position in leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race, while Ericsson 3 recorded the fastest time in the ‘Rotterdam Gate Race’.
Ericsson 4 took the lead at 0700 GMT this morning and arrived at a gate set off Rotterdam in first place. After avoiding the Rotterdam exclusion zone, put in place to keep the fleet clear of shipping, the teams sailed a short course of 1.7 nm to a turning mark set less than half a mile off the beach.
photo credit: Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 4 just before they wipeout, on leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Galway to Marstrand
After rounding a Volvo buoy, they then set off on another 1.7nm reach before rounding a second mark and heading back out to sea. Times were taken for each yacht sailing the course, which was then opened to non-competing boats to try to beat the times set by the Volvo fleet. Ericsson 3 recorded the fastest time (12 minutes 40 seconds) and although no points were scored, a much-needed boost to morale was the reward for this team who has been having a thoroughly miserable time on this leg. However, for the crew of the fastest ‘all-comer’, a trip St Petersburg for the race finish is on offer.
“It must have been quite a spectacle for the spectator boats on the water, and considering it was early on a Tuesday morning it was quite a surprise to see so many people around,” said Ericsson 4’s MCM, Guy Salter.
photo credit: Huang Jian/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Ian Moore checks out the rigging, on leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Galway to Marstrand
Although claiming the fastest lap time, the morale onboard Ericsson 3 has been suffering and the boat is in last place, 37 nm behind the leaders. “There is everything but happy days on Ericsson 3 for the moment,” wrote Gustav Morin this morning.
“We have lost miles and miles to the others and we now 37 miles behind our sistership and 27 miles behind Telefónica Blue, which is the closest boat,” he said.
“In other sports you can throw your racquet, scream at the referee, pick a fight with your opponents or get changed for another player. Here, you are left alone with 10 other guys who have the exact feelings as you, and there is absolutely no point in doing anything other than cheering each other up and trying to recover the losses and make up a new game plan,” Morin explained.
Much the same for sixth-placed Telefónica Blue yesterday, when, according to Gabri Olivo MCM, it all went wrong, hour after hour. “Perhaps someone didn’t go to church last Sunday,” he questioned.
photo credit: Ronald Koelink - foto-nautiek.nl, Delta Lloyd, skippered by Roberto Bermudez (ESP)
The Rotterdam Gate Race, was completed this morning as the fleet passed by the Netherlands.

“We’re feeling like we’ve been punched right in the face by Mike Tyson.
As you can imagine, the darkness came onboard. It’s the first time that we’re last without any damage or excuses to blame it on, and, believe me, it is not a nice feeling. You can see on everyone’s faces how bad the mood is,” he wrote, late last night.
Now, the fleet continues north at break-neck speed, mostly in sight each other as a 25-30 knot westerly gale pushes them quickly towards Texel, an island off Northern Holland, where the fleet will make their turn towards Scandinavia.
Green Dragon has held on to second place and Dutch yacht Delta Lloyd has risen two places to take fourth. Computer routing software is predicting a finish in Marstrand overnight Wednesday/Thursday this week.

Leg Eight Day 4: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions

(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

1. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 332 nm

2. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +1
3. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +6

4. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +8

5. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +9

6. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +10
7. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +37
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

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