Volvo Ocean Race: Balls to the wall

Published on January 14th, 2018

(January 14, 2018; Leg 4; Day 13) – Scallywag continues to blast towards the Hong Kong finish line, leading the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to the west in well-established trade wind conditions.

“It’s finally safe to say we’ve made it to the tradewinds,” reports Amory Ross onboard Vestas 11th Hour Racing, after teams wallowed in the Doldrums for 4+ days. “There’s a steady 23 knots of wind from the east and confidence is high that some devious cloud can’t come and ruin our day!”

Skipper David Witt’s Hong Kong-based team continue to benefit from the tactical decision two days ago to forgo a course north toward the trades, and instead turn west toward Hong Kong.

While that move instantly shot them up the rankings, which is based on each team’s distance to the finish line, the Scallywags also found enough wind to keep them there.

Although their advantage remains solid, the past 24 hours haven’t been without incident as crew member Alex Gough went overboard during a sail change. He was recovered within 7 minutes and is reported to be uninjured, with the team resuming racing immediately after the recovery.

The trio to the north, Vestas, Dongfeng, and AkzoNovel, have all made moves to the south, with Vestas explaining how obstacles impacted their tactics.

“With an unstable atmosphere and a sea temperature of over 30 degrees it is prime condition for thunderstorms and our days have been punctuated by dealing with the towering cumulus clouds,” reports navigator Simon Fisher. “That and dodging our way through the islands and atolls of Micronesia which will no doubt be heavy on navigation and light again on sleep!”

To see Leg 4 crew lists… click here.

 

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Leg 4 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 2087.4 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA), 48.2 nm DTL
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 62.2 nm DTL
4. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 65.0 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 147.7 nm DTL
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 178.6 nm DTL
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 191.0 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

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.

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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