From Abu Dhabi to Sanya: A Drag Race…with Potholes

Published on December 30th, 2014

by Mark Chisnell
The third leg of the 2014-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race is fundamentally different to the first two. The previous legs have run largely from north to south, or south to north. That means that they have been crossing the earth’s climate zones, which lie in distinct bands, horizontally and looping the globe, and running out from the Equator to the Poles in a mirror image.

This time the race goes from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, on the southernmost tip of the tropical Chinese island of Hainan, nestling in the north-west corner of the South China Sea (the Volvo Ocean Race website hadn’t set up the Virtual Eye Tracker for Leg 3 at the time of writing, so there are no charts for this story, apologies).

The fleet will be racing from west to east, and running along the climate bands, instead of crossing them. Almost the entire leg – apart from the start, and a possible dalliance with the doldrums around Singapore – will be spent in the north-east monsoon (NEM). – Full report

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