Volvo Ocean Race: Out go the lights

Published on November 20th, 2017

(November 20, 2017; Leg 2, Day 16) – The dance for the Volvo Ocean Race teams around the St Helena High appeared complete, with all seven bows aiming east toward the finish line. Nearly as far south as the Roaring Forties, it was breeze on and heat off with a 1700 nm drag race to home.

And then it got interesting.

Dutch crew Team Brunel opted to go into stealth mode today, cloaking their position from their rivals for up to 24 hours. Trailing only leader MAPFRE by some 35 nm, Brunel made the call to ‘disappear’ from the rankings following the 0700 UTC report.

Will Brunel, the most southerly boat in the fleet, go further south?

The move comes after a few strong days for Bekking’s crew that have seen them profit from being the furthest boat west coming down the Brazilian coastline. A slightly better angle on the breeze saw them rocket through the rankings from last place to second as the fleet plunge below the latitude of Cape Town.

The timing of Brunel’s decision comes as the frontrunners prepare to be scooped up by an easterly-moving cold front bringing northerly winds of up to 30 knots. It should take the fleet to within a few hundred miles of Cape Town – and provide ideal conditions for fast sailing.

Whether Brunel will have profited from their tactical gamble will become clear when they reappear on the tracker at 0700 UTC tomorrow.

Leg 2 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 1715.9 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 21.7 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 31.0 nm DTL
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 55.1 nm DTL
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 77.4 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 85.6 nm DTL
STM. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader; STM – Stealth Mode

To see the crew lists… click here.

Race detailsLive contentScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

The second leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race started November 5 and is expected to take three weeks for the seven teams to complete the 7000 nm course from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

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, Scuttlebutt

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