Volvo Ocean Race: Death Valley ahead

Published on February 19th, 2018

(February 19, 2018; Day 13) – As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet descends though the Pacific Ocean, negotiating the doldrums along the Solomon Islands has proven to be massively stressful for the leading pair on Leg 6 to Auckland, New Zealand.

As team AkzoNobel and Scallywag bumped up against an area of calm, those chasing were enjoying 10 to 15 knots of wind and making impressive gains. While the distance from first to last has nearly been halved in 24 hours, the rubber band has begun stretching again.

“It’s a bit stressful when you can feel the hot breath from the other boats breathing down your neck,” said Annemieke Bes from Scallywag. “But I think we’ve managed to come out the other side. It’s a big relief.”

Her skipper, David Witt, sitting beside her on deck, admitted, “I was throwing all my toys out of the pram,” as the trailing boats closed the gap.

“This is normal,” Bes laughed.

At the back of the fleet, the reaction to the big gains was relatively muted in consideration of how much work is still left to do. The good news for the trailing boats is that there is still a long way to go.

The navigators are talking about a band of light and variable conditions that stretch ahead for over 400 miles. If that scenario comes to pass, there will be many more nervous moments, and many more opportunities for a shake up in the rankings.

Beginning on February 7, Leg 6 is listed as a 6,100 nautical mile course from Hong Kong to Auckland, New Zealand.

For crew lists… click here.

Damage: Only six of the seven teams are competing in Leg 6 as Vestas 11th Hour Racing is repairing their boat following the collision with a fishing boat as they neared the finish line of Leg 4 in Hong Kong. The team shipped their boat to Auckland to complete repairs in time for the March 18 start of Leg 7 to Itajaí, Brazil.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 6 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 1671.8 nm DTF
2. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 0.7 nm DTL
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 34.3 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 38.5 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 93.2 nm DTL
6. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 94.1 nm DTL
DNS. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; DNS – Did Not Start

Overall Results (after 5 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 34 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 30
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
4. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 20
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 18
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 15
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 9

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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