Getting out of jail

The leading trio in the Volvo Ocean Race are now into the Trades and making hay

Monday March 18th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic

Things are rotating in the right direction again! Mark Rudiger reports from Assa Abloy

And up is up, and North is home. We’re in the Northern Hemisphere again. That old familiar “N” behind the Latitude on the GPS, the big dipper just creeping up over the horizon at night, and I don’t have to check myself on
which way the wind goes around the High’s and Low’s. This of course marks another mile stone in ASSA ABLOY’s race around the world. We’re another step closer to victory.

Yesterday was fairly unexciting other than dodging the usual squalls and trying to maintain our proximity to illbruck and Tyco, waiting for a moment to pass.

That opportunity happened just before sunset when we sailed within half a mile of both of them while they were in a luffing match with their big Code 0’s. Just when we were really starting to salivate, a squall line formed between us and off they went with new breeze back to a three-mile lead. Then again early this morning, a huge (120 mile diameter) mini low system formed and we experienced 60 degree wind shifts and up to 30 knots
of wind. After several sail changes in pitch black, we lost both boats on the Radar in the rain. But when the dust settled at sunrise, we spotted Tyco off our starboard aft quarter, nice work guys.

But not too much celebrating, illbruck had gained on us as well, keep pushing. Russian roulette is still the game in the pack behind us. Lead changing and some pretty cruel squalls befalling the less fortunate. A heartbreaking way to loose a race, but we all know the score, just like when you walk through the doors at the casino’s.

One of the big issues on board still are the reaming two spoons. As you may recall, all but two accidentally went over board when throwing the wash water over. One went missing this morning during all the sail changing with sails going up and down the hatch. An immediate all hands search went out for spoon 2-alpha. The guys were less interested in the fact that Tyco had been spotted behind us. “Yeah that’s nice, have you seen the other spoon, I’ve got three guys waiting behind me to eat breakfast!’
Fortunately 2-alpha turned up in the leeward bunk under some wet clothing and is busy again feeding six of the 12 crew. You would think that a bunch a hardened ocean racers that can repair anything at sea, wouldn’t be quite so dependent on a couple of spoons. But at the same time, we don’t ask for much, and to eat a meal with a spoon would be a nice luxury. Any way, I digress, and more important matter at hand is what King Neptune has in store for our only Pollywog “Chris Larson”. Apparently he’s waiting for things to “heat” up, and for his special “stew” to “brew”. (Klabbe [Klas Nylof] is changing the oil in the generator now to provide the final ingredient).

Magnus and I are preparing the questions to which there is never a correct answer, like “What percentage of an ice berg is water” etc. Well, time for me to get back to work and figure the best way thru this problem area of the world.

Cheers from:
Mark “Rudi” Rudiger

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