Team Delta Lloyd was forced to suspended racing for a 12 hour period during leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race due to severe weather conditions as well as some minor repairs that must be carried out to the yacht.
Skipper Roberto Bermudez notified the team base and the race office that the Irish Dutch first generation yacht campaigned by Ger O’Rourke, pulled into a small bay near the Philippines and dropped anchor.
The crew would use this time to allow the severe weather system pass them and also carry out some minor repairs to the main sail track amongst others. With huge seas and gusting winds of close on 50 to 60 knots hitting the boat on the nose, the safer option, according to team magnate O’Rourke, was to take shelter and asses the situation in due course.
Below is the email sent from the skipper this morning.
At 10:10 UTC we dropped anchor in a small bay near Salomaque Harbour (Philippines). Since we need some time to do our repairs, I decided to suspend the race for at least 12 hours. All is well on board and we’ll keep you informed as soon as we have news. All is well with the crew
Bye for now,
Chuny, (Roberto Bermudez) Team Delta Lloyd.
REPORTS from onboard Delta Lloyd, the Irish Dutch entry in the Volvo Ocean race, indicate that the weather phenomenon passing west of the Philippines is close to treacherous and that taking cover in Salomaque Harbour (Philippines) was the safest thing to do for all yachts concerned.
Ship’s engineer and Irish sailor, Edwin O’Connor, noted the extent of the damage to the fleet from his perspective and the conditions that the fleet have found themselves in to date.
“It’s not so bad here now, but early on the afternoon it was pretty full on. I guess you could describe the conditions as truly horrible.”
The Irish sailor, rewarded for his efforts in leg 3 of the race by being awarded the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award when the keel suffered major structural damage, again had his hands full over the last 24 hours with the conditions.
“Standing waves in 50 +kts of breeze. Even the big tankers and car ferries running to Taiwan and China are sheltering in here.”
So, Edwin and crew note that it’s time to assess the damage and take a breather from the horrendous conditions and tackle the jobs list that the storm left in its wake.
“We’ve got moderate damage in comparison to the other boats. Green Dragon just dropped the anchor beside us. They’re looking to borrow our angle grinder and about 50L of epoxy resin!” Doesn’t sound good for the Irish Chinese entry who already are under jury rig after tearing the forestay from the deck two days ago.
Edwin goes on to suggest that some of the other yachts in the race are in worse off state with others also running for cover.
“Telefonica Black is running back down the coast towards us. Apparently have lots of repairs too. Puma has a broken boom, pretty severe for the big cat.
“We’ve just ripped our main and smashed a steering wheel, but spirits are still good onboard and we intend to restart asap. We are incurring a 12hr time penalty as we needed to get some outside assistance but to be honest that’s ok with us. The weather is not due to drop below 50 in the next 36 to 48hrs so we wont be moving until then.”
But this is still a race and this temporary stop has not dissuaded the crew from keeping the eye on the finish line.
Delta Lloyd occupied fourth spot for a two day period during leg four and showed the boat speed to be at the top end of the fleet by comparison.
O’Connor, hailing from the same area as team magnate Ger O’Rourke, is eager to get back in race mode but knows that conditions are likely to be just as hostile as the fleet moves steadily north.
“We’ve about 900-miles to go to the finish. Apparently its bloody cold up there too. Snow no doubt. It will be nice to be heading south in this after all is finished up in Qingdao. It’s good to be visiting new countries, especially when the races arrives in Ireland.”
Team Delta Lloyd Press Ireland & UK