Volvo Visuals….

The main pack has shrunk to just four boats–Ericsson, Brasil 1, and the ABN Amro’s–but they are racing hard through the trades. Click here for the latest from Volvo HQ. And here for an after action reprt on all the carnage. Even on the boats that emerged relatively unscathed it was a beast of a start. Here’s ABN Amro 2’s Simon Fisher:

“Broke nothing too major, we are largely in one piece. A couple of the bunks were blown out, we had some problems with the wet box for the generator; we were struck by lightning and trawled a spinnaker. We are managing to hold it together and keep the pace on without breaking anything too major, we’re in good shape. It was pretty scary the first night, certainly for those who stepped up to have a go on the wheel, water everywhere, couldn’t see much.”

Phew. Glad things are going so well. Here’s a prediction: The leg that will bust these boats up like no other will be the South Atlantic after rounding Cape Horn, when they are beating upwind and crashing off waves. Builders and designers never like to overbuild. But I’m wondering whether there is enough beef in any of these boats.

In the meantime, kudos to ABN Amro 2, the so-called kiddie boat. Not only are they up with the leaders (and in fact led for a stretch), but they found the time to send in some great video. Check it out, and try not to drool all over your keyboard. Clip 1. Clip 2. Clip 3. TWC has a new favorite in this race…

“Hey, Simon! Now is not the time to be climbing the mast to shoot video…”

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