/ Sailing

Green Dragon fourth overall

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Dec 2008 10:10

The Green Dragon crew have sailed for twelve days in tricky conditions without a boom
The Green Dragon crew have sailed for twelve days in tricky conditions without a boom

After a hard fought battle in the final miles, Green Dragon have crossed the finish line off Cochin, India in seventh place of Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09.

It has been a very challenging leg for the crew who have managed to stay in contention despite suffering a broken boom and damage to the steering system following a Chinese gybe in extremely strong winds.

The finish secures another two valuable points to their total, placing them fourth overall after two legs.

With one day remaining Green Dragon, PUMA and Delta Lloyd were battling it out for fourth, but the final day was set to play out a little differently than the three chasing boats had planned.

At 0900 GMT Telefoncia Black came out of Stealth Mode and popped up on the racecourse ahead of PUMA and Delta Lloyd.

But the Dragon had also gone into Stealth disappearing at 0700 GMT.

For the chasing boats it was a hard pill to swallow as the difference between finishing fourth and seventh grew even closer as they all approached the finish.

For Green Dragon every point would count. The battle for the remaining points was on.

At 1030 GMT Green Dragon came out of Stealth (under race rules once a boat is within 50 miles of the finish line Stealth Mode must be turned off).

The Dragon was still the most westerly boat and PUMA and Delta Lloyd had extended by 16 miles.

By 1200 GMT time was running out for the Dragon. Telefoncia Black who had made a clever tactical move playing the Stealth card late last night, had held onto their lead and took fourth spot.

PUMA were soon to follow at 1222 GMT, with Delta Lloyd stealing sixth at 12:29 GMT.

Ian Walker and his crew crossed the line at 13:08 GMT.

It will be disappointment for the Dragon after sailing against the odds to stay with the leading pack for the majority of the leg.

But it is a fantastic result considering they have sailed for twelve days in tricky conditions without a boom.

It has been a challenge, but three points at the scoring gate and two points from the finish mean that they stay in contention for the overall race holding joint fourth on the leaderboard alongside PUMA.
Skipper Ian Walker said: ‘It was nearly a great result. I think that’s what’s most disappointing is that it would have been an outstanding result but it feels like we have had it all taken away.

‘At the moment we are very disappointed, having said that it was a good race, with three boats in sight for the finish and we were part of that, I guess that’s sport, that’s racing.’

OVERALL POINTS AFTER TWO LEGS
1) ERICSSON 4 - 26 points
2) TELEFONCIA BLUE - 19 points
3) ERICSSON 3 - 14.5 points
4) GREEN DRAGON - 14 points
4) PUMA - 14 points
6) TELEFONCIA BLACK - 8.5 points
7) TEAM RUSSIA - 6.5 points
8) DELTA LLOYD - 4.5 points