Volvo Ocean Race: South before east

Published on March 20th, 2018

(March 20, 2018; Day 3) – As the Volvo Ocean Race teams dove below the southern tip of New Zealand today, temperatures were plummeting as the fleet heads further into the mighty Southern Ocean.

“We have noticed it’s starting to cool down, especially the water,” said Carolijn Brouwer, crew member on Dongfeng Race Team. “We’re heading straight south pretty quickly at about 20 knots. There’s plenty to come ahead – this is just a warm up, or a cool down, however you choose to look at it.”

Ahead of them lies the longest, most testing leg of the Volvo Ocean Race through the most inhospitable waters known to man that includes having to round the notorious Cape Horn.

“It’s full on, mate,” said Dave Witt, skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag. “This leg is probably the most rewarding and most stressful thing we’ll ever do, I reckon. The sailing is the easy bit, I enjoy that bit, but it’s the strain on everyone, on the sponsors, on me, on relationships… It’s bloody hard.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing remains at the top of the scoreboard as the eastern-most boat, and though still early in the race, skipper Charlie Enright welcomed the news after sitting out Legs 5 and 6 due to damage.

“It definitively feels good, and it’s a confidence boost for everyone, but at the same time we don’t put too much stock in that because we have a long way to go.”

With a north-easterly breeze continuing to blow, the teams have begun a gradual left turn toward a southeasterly course, though the strategy remains to seek out the lower latitudes for stronger winds and a shorter distance toward Cape Horn.


COURSE: Starting on March 18, Leg 7 takes the teams from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. Race organizers choose to estimate the tactical distance for each leg rather than list the actual distance, an unusual decision that’s revealed once the race starts and the tracker lists the actual distance to finish.

The VOR says Leg 7 is 7600 nm whereas the truth is more like 6623 nm, and once the race got started, the conflicting information led one to believe the teams covered over 1000 nm in the first 24 hours when the truth was more like 200 nm toward the finish. Their ETA in Itajaí is between April 4 and 6.

For crew lists … click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 7 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 5861.6 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 2.2 nm DTL
3. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 4.2 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 7.5 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 7.7 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 10.9 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 14.4 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

Overall Results (after 6 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 39 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 34
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 23
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 20
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 12

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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