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Ericsson 4 Holds Lead In Final Approach To Finish

With fewer than 34 nautical miles remaining to the Leg 6 finish of the Volvo Ocean Race in Boston, Ericsson 4 held a 7-mile lead over teammate Ericsson 3.

Current ETAs have the leaders finishing between 1400 and 1500 local (1800 and 1900 GMT). The finish times are subject to change dependent on the wind conditions.

At 1600 GMT, Ericsson 4 had 34 miles remaining to the finish off Fan Pier in Boston’s Inner Harbor. The two Ericsson yachts – as well as rivals Telef√≥nica Blue and Puma – had cleared the top of the right whale exclusion zone by midday and were sailing along the northwestern boundary.

“It’s getting a little tense with four boats fighting hard for the three podium places,” said Ericsson 4 media crewman Guy Salter. “At this stage we lead them, but you can see your buffer reduce in moments in these fickle conditions. So it’s a real nail-biter onboard.”

Salter described the wind as being stronger aloft at the masthead than on the water, which he described as calm as a pond. The lack of wind pressure throughout the rig has slowed the yachts’ progress considerably from the 20 knots they were achieving overnight, but Ericsson 3 continues to stalk its brethren.

“We have almost parked at the northwest corner of that zone. And the forecast for the coastal sailing today does not look too promising for those teams who are happy with their position, with opportunity for another game-opener in the end,” said Ericsson 3 navigator Aksel Magdahl.
“Basically, in these light conditions, it’s always so variable that it’s possible for boats to sail around each other.”

Team meteorologist Chris Bedford has predicted winds between 7 and 12 knots today. But this morning at the race village on Fan Pier the wind was light, between 5 and 7 knots, from the west.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE LEG 6 LEADERBOARD
(At 1602 GMT, Apr. 26, 2009)
1. Ericsson 4, 34nm to finish
2. Ericsson 3, +7nm
3. Telefonica Blue, +14nm
4. Puma, +23nm
5. Delta Lloyd, +104nm
6. Green Dragon, +139nm

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 8:56 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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