Volvo Ocean Race: Two weeks of terror

Published on December 10th, 2017

Cape Town, South Africa (December 10, 2017) – Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team and the Spanish MAPFRE squad were neck and neck leading the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Cape Town and towards the southernmost point of the African continent today.

It was the eleventh time in the history of the event that the fleet had raced out of Cape Town, this time on a 6,500 nautical mile leg to Melbourne, Australia.

But this low latitude leg has been absent from the past three editions. Not since the 2005-6 race have the sailors experienced this epic and full throttle ride with huge waves, freezing storms, biblical winds and crazy storms.

With double points up for grabs, it means that Leg 3 could be a game changer in the 2017-18 edition, and makes the risk vs reward conundrum in the most remote ocean on the planet even more real than ever before. The ETA is currently between the December 24 and 26.

Conditions were ideal, with the famed Cape Doctor wind blowing at 20-25 knots. The fleet raced around a short triangle course in front of the city, before being freed to sprint off towards Australia.

There was some drama for the Dongfeng team who had to make a late crew change just before leaving the dock. Daryl Wislang suffered a back strain this morning and the team decided not to risk having it flare up more while at sea. He stepped off the boat to be replaced by Fabien Delahaye.

The forecast is for very strong winds on Sunday evening and overnight, which should then ease for a brief respite, before strengthening again as the first of the Southern Ocean weather systems that will pick them up and carry them to Melbourne comes calling.

“It is the worst sailing you can do but it’s also the absolute best,” said Stu Bannatyne, a three-time race winner on board Dongfeng, in reply to a question about the Southern Ocean. “Fortunately it seems the human mind forgets the bad times and only remembers the good, which is why we keep coming back.”

That is a sentiment that is sure to be shared among the 63 sailors (and seven on board reporters) over the coming days.

 

To see Leg 3 crew lists… click here.

Leg 3 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5695 nm DTF
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 0.1 nm DTL
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 0.5 nm DTL
4. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 0.7 nm DTL
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 2.0 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 2.7 nm DTL
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 4.1 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader

Overall Results (after 2 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 14 points
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 13
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 11
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 7
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 6
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 5
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 2

Race detailsLive contentScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

The third leg started December 10 for the 6500 nm course to Melbourne, Australia. The ETA is between the December 24 and 26.

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

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