Green Dragon remains the most southerly boat in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, at 50 degrees South the conditions onboard have become uncomfortable as the temperature has dropped.  Being this far south also means the threat of icebergs and so far the crew onboard the Dragon have already seen several in the last 24 hours, each were between 100 metres across and the size of a football pitch! It was a nervous night onboard as everyone became aware of the dangers around them, “it was a sharp reminder to us that at 50 degrees South there is a real danger from these breakaway icebergs or ‘growlers’.” commented Ian Walker this morning. “I noticed this morning that a few more people are now wearing survival suits and we have made a point of closing all the water-tight doors. Daylight came as a bit of a relief and we have now gybed North towards the ice gate that is supposed to keep us away from any such ice”.

Sailing

Sailing by Guy Salter / Ericsson 4 / Volvo Ocean Race

Whilst the three leading boats stay further north as they head towards the next ice gate, Green Dragon and Telefonica Blue have been working hard to avoid a zone of high pressure which is in the area. Whilst Telefonica Blue have been trying to outrun the system, Ian Walker and the crew have dived further south in order to try and avoid it completely, a more positive move out of the two boats as their speed has stayed more consistent in the last 24 hours. They have also started to make some progress and have gained miles on Ericsson 3 in the last 12 hours. Elsewhere the low pressure system that Ericsson 3 have been riding on is tailing off and this morning saw a shift in fortunes as Ericsson 4 in second and PUMA in third started to gain some miles on the leading boat.

For Volvo Ocean Race first timer Chris Main onboard the Dragon, this leg is certainly as epic has he imagined, “I think Volvo have got it pretty spot on with ‘life at the extreme!’.  These are some of the extreme experiences you don’t think about prior to having never done a leg. Before hand you think about the sailing, the speed of the boats, big waves, night time sail changes etc etc But the real extreme experience is living in one of these ocean racing beast’s while hurtling round the worlds oceans. here is what I have found extreme so far this leg. I think hopping into a bed or rack after your opposite watch person has got out, having spent the last 4hrs sweating like you have been in a sauna is extreme. Four days of blast reaching is tough. Unable to look forward without a helmet and visor on for fear of your eyelids getting turned inside out is extreme. Can you imagine being hosed down by a fire engine for four hours three times a day for four days”

Volvo Ocean Race Positions – Leg Five Day 27
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 4,001 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +109
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +141
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +432
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +788

Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS

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