The fifth in-port race of the Volvo Ocean Race started at 13.00 EDT on 29 April, in 8-10 knots of northerly breeze and glorious sunshine. Ericsson crossed the line on port tack, choosing to go behind the fleet and be first out to the favored right side of the course. The team took advantage of the wind shift and reached the top mark in first place, seven seconds ahead of movistar, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean and ABN Amro Two.
"We knew we wanted the right side of the course due to better wind and current, and so by starting on port tack, we were able to get there quickly," said Kostecki (USA), skipper and tactician for today's race. "We were first at the windward mark, but then we had a pretty bad downwind leg and mark rounding, which allowed movistar and Brasil 1 to pass us."
This was the deciding moment in the race for Ericsson. "There was a big left hand shift and we were on the wrong side of it, which put Brasil 1 in a good position," commented bowman David Rolfe (NZL). Ericsson ducked off to leeward, trying to get clean air, but ended up in an area with less wind. The boats with better air took off, and on reaching the top mark Ericsson had dropped back to fifth place, behind ABN Amro Two.
From then on positions within the fleet remained relatively unchanged as the teams extended their leads and the wind eased off. Ericsson managed to pass ABN Amro Two on the final beat, and crossed the finish line in fourth place, behind movistar, Brasil 1 and Pirates of the Caribbean.
"Our preparation was good. The boat was well prepared for today's race and we've had some good training time. We did all we could and we must move forward from here," concludes Neal McDonald (GBR).
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John Kostecki (USA): "We knew we wanted the right side of the course due to better wind and current, and so by starting on port tack we were able to get there quickly. We were first at the windward mark, but then we had a pretty bad downwind leg and mark rounding, which allowed movistar and Brasil 1 to pass us.
"We sailed well, but made a few mistakes early in the race. We are not overly happy but not overly depressed."
Magnus Woxén (SWE): "We had a meeting before the start and we decided that we wanted the right of the course because the current is more favorable on the right. It paid off very well on the first beat and we took the lead. However, it played us a bad trick on the second beat. We had already lost some ground to movistar and Brasil 1 and then ended up in an area with less wind. That's when Pirates and ABN Amro Two overtook us.
"We had almost the same crew here as in Rio. It worked very well and we didn't make a single mistake. We kept it simple and the crew work was efficient."
Neal McDonald (GBR): "We always planned to take the right side of the course at the start which turned out well. Then we had a very difficult run. We were converging and there were light patches and it didn't really play into our hands."
"Our preparation was good. We would have liked to win - we got to the weather mark in the top spot and it wouldn't have taken a great deal of different circumstances to have kept that position. But I think the team did very well. The boat was well prepared and we've had some good training time. We did all we could and we must move forward from here."
David Rolfe (NZL): "The first run decided the race for us. It got really light and fluky at the bottom mark, with a big left hand shift which put Brasil 1 in a good position. They got round in front of us and we were in their dirty air. Then the Pirates - who were behind us - cleared their air a lot better. We just couldn't get clean air during the whole beat and this hurt us badly."
Notes to Editors
Ericsson Racing Team, headed by Ericsson, the world's leading telecommunications supplier is supported by Sony, Sony Ericsson and by Semcon as design and development partner. For updates and pictures on the Ericsson Racing Team's participation in the Volvo Ocean Race, please visit www.ericssonracingteam.com. You can register as media to download high resolution images for editorial use. High resolution video footage is available on request.
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