Food, Water, and the Sched

Published on January 16th, 2018

Libby Greenhalgh, who has joined Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG) as navigator for the fourth leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, finds her team with a nice lead as they aim for a finish on January 19 in Hong Kong. Here Libby explains the ritual of position reports.


The nervous excitement of being in the lead means our world even more so revolves around the sched (position report). Much like the online tracker followed by race fans, we get a position of all the boats every 6 hours at 0700, 1300, 1900, 0100.

The actual position reported is from just before the hour, such as 1254, which is confounding as it would work much more seamlessly in my routing software if it was on the hour like the weather.

Typically the sched lands in out inbox at 3 minutes past the hour but more recently the reports have been a little tardy, up to 4 minutes later, which as you can imagine feels like forever.

Once it is in, the fun begins. We look over the previous scheds, discuss our 6 hour average, how we are doing relative to our routing and then have some guesses at where and what people have done and what the distance between us and the next boat will be.

What do we get in our position report? Latitude and longitude; wind speed and direction at time of report; boat speed at time of report; miles to go to whatever waypoint race admin has chosen (probably the finish line right now which is actually quite realistic); difference in miles from the leader.

We can import this into our routing software and calculate a point-to-point average speed over ground and average course over ground. We can’t see where the other boats have gybed or what wiggles they have been making – that is all open to interpretation.

As scheds continue to be positive, it is confidence building in how we are sailing the boat and that the forecast seems to be in line.

To see Leg 4 crew lists… click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

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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