Volvo Ocean Race: Driftathon continues

Published on February 20th, 2018

(February 20, 2018; Day 14) – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is facing another 48 hours of excruciating sailing as the teams plugged deeper into a massive expanse of windless ocean today.

Lying ahead of them is a 400-mile gulf that stretches as far south as New Caledonia, severely hampering progress, and with the finish line in Auckland still more than 1,500 miles away, a glance at the forecast provides little relief with no sign of breeze materialising in the short term.

As well as battling the elements, the fights on the water have become personal, with the six teams splitting into pairs, essentially forming three mid-ocean match races.

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and team AkzoNobel, which have led the fleet since February 16, now face the charge by Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel, positioned 50 nm further east and roaring along at twice the speed. Watching and worrying are MAPFRE and Dongfeng, due north of the others and only drifting along.

The cause of the giant wind hole is a huge storm – Gita – currently battering the south island of New Zealand that has killed the trade winds, allowing the Doldrums to swell to epic proportions.

“It feels like we are in three match races, we’re just are not sure who is playing the finals, who is playing the semi-finals and who is playing for the wooden spoon,” observes Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari.

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. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 1544.6 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 7.7 nm DTL
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 8.2 nm DTL
4. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 11.7 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 82.1 nm DTL
6. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 83.2 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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