Volvo Ocean Race: 4 down, 3 to go

Published on April 7th, 2018

Itajaí, Brazil (April 7, 2018; Day 21) – Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic ghosted across the Volvo Ocean Race finish line for Leg 7 in light winds to take fourth place, collecting 8 points.

It was the hardest leg of the race, and Turn the Tide on Plastic posted their best result to date, demonstrating the growth of the youngest and most inexperienced team in the race. Their time for Leg 7 was 20 days, 03:12:44.

“It’s been a monster leg and we’ve come through and we had to work hard for that finish,” Caffari said moments after crossing the finishing line. “But it’s been like that the entire leg. It’s been hard work and these guys really deserve all the credit for coming in fourth place. I’m so proud of them.”

Turn the Tide on Plastic had a good start to Leg 7, taking an early lead and then battling with the leading group all the way through one of the most difficult Southern Ocean legs in memory.

But after passing Cape Horn, the team noticed an issue with its rig – one of the spreaders had moved out of position, putting the mast in jeopardy.

After slowing down for repairs, the team found the leading trio had escaped and the goal became securing a fourth place finish, ahead of MAPFRE. The light conditions over the final days made for an agonisingly slow end to the leg, but the end result was a strong one for Turn the Tide on Plastic.

“The team is growing every leg,” Caffari added. “We proved it in the last leg in the lighter winds and flat water and now we’ve proved it in a big wind, big waves condition as well. These guys can take anything on and I back them 100 per-cent every time.”

Xabi Fernández’s MAPRE  is the only boat still racing in Leg 7, also getting left behind when they needed to stop to repair problems with their mast track and mainsail which had torn in two on the approach to Cape Horn. They are forecast to finish in the early hours of tomorrow morning (UTC).

The boats that have retired from Leg 7, Team SHK/Scallywag and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, remain focused on rejoining the race. Scallywag had retired from the race following the loss of crew member John Fisher and Vestas broke its mast.

Scallywag has replaced its race crew in Puerto Montt, Chile with a delivery crew to bring the boat through the Strait of Magellan and north to Itajaí. An update yesterday from Vestas indicated they were still in the Falkland Islands, where they’ve been since the dismasting, but would soon be leaving for the 1,500-mile journey north. They expect the delivery to take 10-12 days.

The upcoming schedule includes an In-Port Race in Itajaí on April 20 and the start of Leg 8 on April 22 to Newport, USA.


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 with an ETA in Itajaí between April 4 and 6.

For crew lists … click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 7 – Position Report (14:40 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), Finished on Apr 3 at 14:45:18 UTC
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Finished on Apr 3 at 15:00:08 UTC
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), Finished on Apr 5 at 04:38:24 UTC
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), Finished on Apr 7 at 04:12:44 UTC
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 160.1 nm DTF
RET. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
RET. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; RET – Retired

Overall Results (after 7 of 11 legs)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 46 points
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 45 *
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 36
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 33
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 20
* Assuming they finish fifth in Leg 7

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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