Definitely up for the challenge
Ultimately, it is quite clear from anyone watching that we are a little off the pace. Everbody makes mistakes but it is a lot easier to make good tactical decisions when you have a fast boat.
On a positive note we seem to be very good downwind but we have not seen much downwind sailing in this race, we hardly had a spinnaker up for the last two legs. I am sure when we get some breezy downwind conditions, we will be very strong. The reality is that so far in this race, Telefonica have been faster than anyone, they have a big speed edge on everybody, which is impressive to be honest. But when we start going downwind, things could change very quickly. Obviously not scoring in Leg One put us in a bad position but we also missed all the performance data from that leg. Having said that we will be remoding the boat as much as we can for the next leg but the race rules have now outlawed significant changes to appendages like rudders and dagger boards so there is less that we can do this time but we will be making certain changes, within the rules.
Keeping morale up is a lot more difficult when you are not challenging for the lead but we will concentrate on getting the boat to sail as fast as possible, there is nothing we can really do about the opposition, so we have to stay focused on our own boat speed and performance and make sure that we put in 100%. Looking forward, we are going to see more fast downwind conditions with boats racing in really close quarters, the racing is far more intense than it has ever been and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are definitely up for the challenge.
All the best,