Volvo Ocean Race: Questions ahead

Published on February 24th, 2018

(February 24, 2018; Day 18) – Team Brunel emerged from Stealth Mode overnight as the furthest east in the fleet, a move Bouwe Bekking’s team was hoping would give them some new life.

“Yesterday, it was obvious we were falling off the pressure the three leading boats had,” explained skipper Bouwe Bekking. “You can keep following them, but then you know you’re going to keep losing.

“The models we had were telling us to sail the direct course towards the north cape of New Zealand. That’s why we went in Stealth Mode… Fortunately for us, the others kept reaching (out to the west), so we didn’t lose any distance to the mark to these boats. That was the good thing about going into Stealth.”

After moving up them up to second place earlier today, the benefit appears temporary as Brunel is now losing ground to both the leaders and the tandem of MAPFRE and Dongfeng behind.

With an uncertain forecast, the three lead boats are putting their faith in a southerly course as opposed to aiming for the finish to the southeast.

“There is definitely pressure to the south and the more we can hook into that the closer we’ll get to New Zealand before the forecast becomes very unclear,” said Scallywag navigator Libby Greenhalgh. “It’s one of those situations where you kind of have to pick your side and try to win your side. For us, if we can catch AkzoNobel and beat them to win our side, then the worst case scenario is a fourth and best case you win the leg.”

Behind and taking a middle option on the East/West axis is Dongfeng and MAPFRE, the top two boats on the overall leaderboard, now racing in unfamiliar territory at the back of the fleet.

“The weather forecast keeps changing quite a lot in the files we receive during the day,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. “We have nearly 900 nautical miles to go so we will keep our hope until the very end.

“The crew is having as much rest as possible and getting ready for any opportunity that may come at the end of the race. Our particular race with Dongfeng keeps being exhausting and we all know it is going to be that way the whole way to Auckland. Let’s see how it finishes. Hopefully we can have Brunel join the battle too.”

Scallywag’s Greenhalgh agrees it could be a fantastic finish: “This is going to be another spic finish with the teams exceptionally close and possibly a full foam up coming in. Will be awesome to watch as fingers crossed we arrive in daylight.”

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), 806.4 nm DTF
2. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 7.8 nm DTL
3. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 23.2 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 25.6 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 32.6 nm DTL
6. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 38.1 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

Tags: ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your daily or weekly download by email.

Subscribe - In popup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.