One race, two battles

The Volvo fleet is split

Wednesday May 8th 2002, Author: PeterBentley, Location: Transoceanic
Email from Roger Nilson aboard Amer Sports One

Close To Europe

Right now News Corp is 2.7 nm to windward and surprisingly we have slowly gained bearing on them during the day. The reason is simple. In binoculars we can see that they carry a j2 (jib number 2) instead of our bigger r2 (reacher number 2).

Probably they have left r2 on land in order to save weight. We also left some sails behind but not the r2. We will have an intense fight with them till we cross the line, I am sure. Actually like last leg into Baltimore but then the fight was about first place, not about fourth like now. SEB is still holding on in her southerly position but she could become very vulnerable if the breeze increase as predicted for tomorrow. They have an eight-degree course difference to the finish.

As we close in on Europe, the small talk onboard is more and more about what to do after the race is over. Most of our crew is going straight into professional sailing in grand prix offshore racing, Americas Cup or the Olympic Games. In the 'old days' the discussions were going in other directions at this stage of the round the world race. Someone planned seriously to join the French Legion and become a professional soldier. Another one had decided to go off partying for a couple of months. Others just took a long holiday or often went back to their 'normal profession'. Now the normal profession is yacht racing for almost every single crewmember. Most of us will probably have a very short holiday before the next race is happening.

Someone might plan to start their own campaign for Volvo ocean race next own plans are not really existing. I simply have no plans and that feels just great. We all have our commitments to our sponsors including 14 days promotion work either sailing with guests of sponsors or giving talks for the companies that had the guts to start this late project. Some racing will most likely happen even for me this summer but what is up next I do not know anything about. Certainly it would be nice to spend some time in Sweden this summer as almost all-last summer was spent in southern Europe.

We all look forward to hear what Volvo is planning to do with this race next time. Perhaps they will let us know in Gothenburg?

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