CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Ericsson Racing Team is expecting Ericsson 3, skippered by Anders Lewander, to arrive in Cape Town in the early hours tomorrow morning, Monday.
It has been a busy day for Ericsson Racing Team following the arrival of Ericsson 4 this morning. The shore team has already begun its work and will be taking Ericsson 4 out of the water later today.
Ericsson 3 has had a more than eventful leg, leading the fleet with her stablemate Ericsson 4 through the Straits of Gibraltar. The Nordic-crewed boat then had a challenging passage through the Doldrums before having to stop briefly at the scoring gate in Brazil for a spare part.
The past days have seen them in a close tussle for third place with Green Dragon, and this afternoon’s poll shows them some 31 miles ahead of the Irish/Chinese-flagged boat.
“Everything is getting to its edge now. We are still battling the Green Dragons and the situation feels close and stressful. Not the least after a few tricky situations today,” said Gustav Morin, media crewman aboard Ericsson 3.
“Yesterday we had a couple of bad sail changes. That was not good from our side. But today we have been purely unlucky,” Morin said. “First we had a rip in our A4 and had to take it down, repair it and as soon as possible hoist it again.
“A couple of hours later we are getting really frustrated with the boatspeed and it turns out that we have a big plastic bag wrapped around the fin,” Morin continued.
“We can’t get it of just by swinging the keel, so we have to take the gennaker down, stop the boat and try to go backwards. A risky maneuver that will cost us a lot of time and distance to our close opponent, but we have to do it.”
Lewander and his crew are unaware that a new keel fin awaits them dockside in Cape Town, which will replace the current keel that was deemed non-compliant by the Rules Management Group in Alicante and for which Ericsson 3 has been penalized 4 points.
Ericsson Racing Team Managing Director, Richard Brisius, said, “It is a major achievement by the manufacturers, designers and everyone involved in the logistics.
A lot of people have spent a lot of time and effort making sure that this happens. And all credit to them.”
While the crew of Ericsson 4 begins a much deserved break in Cape Town, Brisius admired the International crew’s win.
“In the early morning light of Table Bay, surrounded by whales and dolphins, two years of preparation all fell into place,” said Brisius. “The achievement of the whole crew, from Torben in the back of the boat to Blood and Ryan on the bow, is second to none but this is just leg one and we have some 35,000 miles left to go. It will be a fantastic race!”
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