Volvo Ocean Race: That settles that

Published on January 4th, 2018

(January 4, 2018; Leg 4; Day 3) – The question in the Volvo Ocean Race of whether inshore or offshore routing would be better along Australia was answered today as Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel claimed the first bragging rights as their bid to punch further offshore paid dividends.

Both teams, plus Turn the Tide on Plastic, opted to head out to sea yesterday in search of a boost from a northerly current, leaving the remaining four crews hugging the Australian coastline. Although it’s still early in the 5,600-mile stage from Melbourne to Hong Kong, these small gains have given the top teams a welcome boost.

“Now there is a big gap between us and MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing,” said Franck Cammas, stepping onboard Dongfeng for Leg 4 as navigator to replace the injured Pascal Bidegorry. “We were happy with our choices yesterday. We thought about the risk before the start, and this is the routing we wanted. We followed our plan, and it’s good for our confidence.”

Spirits were equally high on AkzoNobel, especially given the challenge they faced in Leg 3 when a bad gybe saw a section of their mast track ripped out.

“I feel really good that we’re able to compete with the likes of Dongfeng and MAPFRE, and actually faster at times,” said AkzoNobel’s Chris Nicholson. “The question now remains if we can maintain it over the distance. They’ve proved that they can consistently go at this level day in and day out. That’s something that we’ve yet been able to maintain.”

On their inshore choice, Vestas 11th Hour Racing navigator Simon Fisher admitted it was not entirely by choice. “The die was cast by just a short gybe back into the coast shortly after Green Cape. A big header with pressure and we were pretty much locked onto our inshore track.”

While downwind boat speeds still up around the 20-knot mark as the teams gybe along the eastern tip of Australia, the forecast suggests the wind will become lighter in the coming days – bad news for the leaders but a chance to catch up for the chasing pack.

To see Leg 4 crew lists… click here.

 

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Leg 4 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 4551.2 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 3.4 nm DTL
3. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 33.4 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 34.4 nm DTL
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA), 34.5 nm DTL
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 63.2 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 72.6 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader

Beginning on January 2, Leg 4 is a 5,600 nautical mile race up the east coast of Australia from Melbourne, into the Coral Sea and up north to Hong Kong. The ETA for Hong Kong will be more certain after the boats clear the Doldrums but is penciled in for January 20 to 21.

Overall Results (after 3 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 29 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 23
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 14
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 11
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 9
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 6

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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