One more dice roll for Volvo Ocean Race fleet

Published on December 8th, 2014

(December 8, 2014; Day 20) – It’s all about the speed. You either have it or you don’t. With the wind steady from the northeast, the Volvo Ocean Race is now a drag race north to Ras Al Hadd, the first glimpse of land of so many ancient mariners returning to the Gulf of Oman from their travels around the world.

With leader Team Brunel stretching the margin on Donfeng Race Team, reporter Yann Riou shares the frustration of the Chinese entry.

“The feeling onboard can be summed up by these three words: Annoyed, Frustrated and Bored [of this]. We’ve been on the same tack for 48 hours. 48 hours of speed testing, where in the best case we’d be matching the speed of our sparring partner Brunel. But in two days instead we’ve gone from 8 miles ahead to 11 behind.

“It’s pretty frustrating also because it’s the first time that that has happened to us since the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. Up to now, we never had a speed problem. So that is getting to us for sure. We’ve almost forgotten that we are nonetheless in second place in the rankings.”

Bouwe Bekking, skipper on Brunel, is beaming at the thought of a victory. “We’re clearly faster than we were in the first leg, and sailing in the lead is always good for morale. But we will pass through the Strait of Hormuz just before arriving in Abu Dhabi. It’s a piece of water surrounded by high mountains. Do you already roll the dice? It may be the most difficult part of this leg.”

There is one sentiment among the fleet that is universally positive, as the nights are starting to get a little bit cooler… a relief after the 100+ degree temperatures during the day.

Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 897.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 11.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 39.2 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 301.8 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 314.4 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 403.4 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing

Race websiteTrackingWatch logVideos

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series. The second offshore leg from Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE is 6,125 nm, started Nov. 19 with an ETA of Dec. 9-16.

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