Volvo Ocean Race: We’re back!

Published on January 5th, 2018

(January 5, 2018; Leg 4; Day 4) – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has felt the power of the rubber-band as overall race leaders MAPFRE rapidly rose through the rankings and has closed gauge with the leaders.

Skipper Xabi Fernandez spoke yesterday about plenty of opportunities to improve on MAPFRE’s position, over 33 nautical miles adrift (as of 19:00 UTC) of the leading duo of Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel – and by today the Spanish crew had nearly erased the entire deficit.

Having opted to hug the Australian coastline for the first few days of the leg, MAPFRE grabbed an opportunity this morning by gybing inside the leaders and has, along with Vestas 11th Hour Racing, soaked down to a covering position 10 nm upwind of Dongfeng.

With a southerly breeze of between 15 and 20 knots sending them on their way, the fleet is in pure offwind speed mode with the next mark of the course directly ahead at Santa Ana Island to the east of Papua New Guinea.

“The next 48 hours are going to become a little bit of a drag race,” said Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s Mark Towill, who takes on skipper duties for Leg 4 in place of Charlie Enright. “It’s really important that we keep pushing all the time and make the most of what pressure we have.”

To see Leg 4 crew lists… click here.

 

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Leg 4 – Position Report (13:30 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 4317.8 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 1.4 nm DTL
3. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 5.0 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA), 10.9 nm DTL
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 22.3 nm DTL
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 44.7 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 46.7 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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