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Ericsson Racing Team Hunting for Zephyrs off India

Ericsson 4 went into Stealth mode this morning, opting to hide itself from the fleet as it crawled towards the Leg 2 finish of the Volvo Ocean Race in Cochin, India.Torben Grael and the International crew were back on the leaderboard at 1603 GMT this afternoon, approximately 36 nautical miles from the finish. They were expected to finish between 0000 and 0200 local time. Cochin is five and a half hours ahead of GMT.Second-placed Telefónica Blue, however, was in Stealth mode and its position unknown. Earlier today, Telefónica Blue was an estimated 60 nautical miles behind Grael and crew. Ericsson 4 has led the fleet since Wednesday when it scampered through the Indian Ocean Doldrums and then benefited from stronger than predicted winds across the Equator. The crew, however, has watched its once comfortable advantage over the fleet dwindle.”This time last night I couldn’t type as the boat was bouncing around, sitting on 26 knots in 30 knots of wind and I was watching us take 40nm per three-hour sked out of boats,” Ericsson 4 navigator Jules Salter said earlier today. “Tonight we are doing 3 knots and losing 40nm a sked. The tension is mounting amongst the crew that all our hard work on the leg will end with us being overtaken at the finishing post. So there are some hard night hours ahead trimming the sails and the boat.”Salter listed Ericsson 4′s position within a couple of miles of the India coastline.”We are currently approaching Kochi in very light winds, two miles offshore of the sub-continent trying to find some night breeze to get us to the finish line,” Salter said. “The air smells damp, earthy and of woodsmoke, which is generally a good sign that we may get a few zephyrs to move us on our way.”The day has been frustrating and we have been slowed by clouds, rain and a peak of 5.6 knots of wind speed. This leg has ended like the lamb rather than the first week of lion-like conditions,” said Salter.With Telefónica Blue in Stealth, Anders Lewander’s Ericsson 3 at 1603 GMT was listed as holding second place, 242 miles from the finsh.

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 9:15 am and is filed under Main Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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