Who will be last?

It's slow going for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet

Friday March 15th 2002, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: Transoceanic
Thunderstorm Onboard reports Bouwe Bekking from Amer Spots One

Currently there are eleven very black clouds onboard the fine vessel Amer Sports One and not to forget the one severe thunderstorm in the person of Dalts [Grant Dalton]. This is a red page in Grant Dalton's round the world-racing career. A very painful twenty-four hours, first getting dumped by the leaders and then getting overtaken by the boats behind us. Yesterday we dropped the 'chicks' 12 miles, after they were dead even with us. But this morning as soon as it became daylight, they appeared on the horizon, and while we where becalmed, they sailed a nice d-tour around us. Good for them, not so good for us. Now they are doing a horizon job on us, nearly eight miles ahead, and it looks like they, djuice and SEB are still pulling away further. One thing is for sure, the bad habit of swearing must have started onboard sailing ships in the past in these latitudes, plenty going on at the time being, and even some new bad words have been invented during the last two days, which I will not mention.

So what the do to get is out of our bad position, going inshore or even further offshore? Good question, but unfortunately we don't really know the answer. One moment you a
re looking good, and only a short while later you are looking bad. Our moods are reflecting this perfect, from happy chaps, to the nasty swearing old farts we are right now. But a least we can still smile and make joke's like: ' Freddy (Loof), what would you do right now, you are leading the event like last years star world championships and all of a sudden these conditions appear? In the final race?' His answer: "At least I know that at nighttime I am in the clubhouse, bad or good result, but for sure my stress reaches never the same levels as during this ocean race."

Only today we learned that SEB crashed into illbruck on the starting day, lots of guessing how that could have happened and also we are putting money on what the outcome of the protest will be, if illbruck lodges one. Not a nice situation to be in, several onboard have had experiences like that in the past, of course being on the right of way boat, but least another topic the talk about.

All of sudden the breeze is picking up, I am off watch, but have to stick out my head to find out how long this puff is going to last, so a good time to cut this little message short.

Everybody have fun on your couches and behind your screens, this race isn't over yet.

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