Volvo Ocean Race: Questions about course

Published on May 18th, 2015

(May 18, 2015; Day 2) – As the Volvo Ocean Race began their first full day of their transatlantic crossing to Portugal, Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking reflected on their time in Newport.

“Without a doubt Newport was the best stopover so far in our opinion: extremely well organised, great facilities, an enthusiastic and understanding public, and plenty more points.”

But the enthusiasm of Newport and the solid 15-knot southwesterly were soon replaced with light winds and a restart for the fleet as they approached the eastern corridor of the Rhode Island Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), an exclusion zone that the fleet was required to avoid.

And the question now is whether everyone avoided it.

“I wanted to be in front of Dongfeng so we could control them,” Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explained. “Now because of all this Exclusion Zone business, they’ve managed to slip away from us.”

Abu Dhabi reporter Matt Knighton comments further on the situation:

“We had gybed several times to get around the GPS coordinates which marked the corner of the zone. Consisting of two lanes for incoming and outgoing ships with a figurative barrier between, oceangoing vessels use these TSS areas for safety in high traffic areas. Before the leg, race management decided that teams needed to either respect the correct flow of traffic in the lanes or not enter the zone at all.

“Dongfeng, Mapfre, and SCA entered the zone. They had raced several miles down the course while we went around the zone. Ian, SiFi, and the rest of the guys – still buzzing on deck from the magnificent send-off in Newport – were furious at the loss.

“Will there be a penalty? We don’t know. All we can do now is chase them down as Lisbon grows nearer on the horizon.”

Hans Horrevoets: The Volvo Ocean Race fleet marked a sad anniversary on Monday (May 18, 2015) when it marked the nine year remembrance of when Dutchman Hans Horrevoets, 32, of ABN AMRO TWO lost his life in the event due to drowning. More.

Newport: The final visitor count of approximately 125,000 at the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover exceeded all expectations for the 12-day celebration. The success of the stopover, in which local organizers had hoped to draw 60,000 to 80,000 people, have them as front runners for the race to return in May 2018. More.

Leg 7 (2,800 nm) Position Report (as of 21:45 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 2604.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 0.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 1.2 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 3.2 nm DTL
5. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 4.8 nm DTL
6. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 5.8 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start

Race websiteTrackingScoreboardVideos

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 seventh leg, from Newport, USA to Lisbon, Portugal (2,800 nm), began May 17 with an ETA of May 22-29.

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