Volvo Ocean Race: Horses are Back on the Track
Published on August 10th, 2017
Plymouth, UK (August 10, 2017) – The fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s left Plymouth today for the third race of the Leg Zero qualifying series. After finishing the 603 nm Rolex Fastnet Race yesterday in just less than three days, the latest challenge for the seven Volvo Ocean Race teams is a 125 nm sprint from Plymouth to St Malo, via a buoy next to the Needles.
For the first section along the English coast back towards the Isle of Wight, the fleet will be sailing downwind in 10-15 knots before reaching across the English Channel where they’ll arrive off the Normandy coastline in the early morning.
The fleet will sail through a famous tidal acceleration zone called the Alderney Race that will accelerate the boats by up to 8 knots, so look out for record speeds in light winds. The Volvo Ocean Race might be an ocean race, but by tomorrow morning they’ll be sailing down a river!
As of 23:00, MAPRE had made the turn at the Needles and held an 8nm lead over second place Brunel. Follow Leg Zero Stage 3 on the Yellowbrick tracker… click here.
Footage from the start:
The seven teams in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race must compete in four required qualification races, known as Leg Zero, to prepare for the October 22 start in Alicante, Spain.
Two legs combined with scheduled events:
• August 2: The immensely popular Round the Island Race, a 50-nautical mile sprint around the Isle of Wight.
• August 6: The famous 603 nm Rolex Fastnet Race featuring some of the hottest yachting hardware on the planet in a coastal race that has historically served up a hearty dose of danger – and a lot of stressed navigators.
Two legs just for the Volvo Open 65 teams:
• August 10: Plymouth, England to St Malo in France (125 nm)
• August 13: St Malo to Lisbon, Portugal (770 nm)
Overall Leg Zero rankings after 2 of 4 stages:
MAPFRE 15 points
Dongfeng Race Team 13
Team Brunel 13
team AkzoNobel 11
Vestas 11th Hour Racing 7
Turn the Tide on Plastic 6
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 5
NOTE: There remains the possibility for an 8th team to still enter. If this occurs, the Notice of Race has a provision to ensure qualification sailing at the direction of the race organizer occurs.
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
• Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
• Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
• Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race