Conveyer belt within reach for Volvo Ocean Race fleet

Published on October 14th, 2014

October 14, 2014; Day 4) – The first night in the Atlantic for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet lacked any hospitality that the seven teams may have hoped for.

“I’m on my knees and feeling around for my seasickness pills,” explained Stefan Coppers, the onboard reporter for Team Brunel. “The back of the boat is dark, and my personal belongings bag appears to have become an aquarium. Skipper Bekking had warned me to send all my files early. ‘There’s a storm coming that will separate the men from the boys,’ he said.”

With winds over 30 knots of wind during the night, the dawn saw softening winds as the fleet got closer to the African coast at around 0700 UTC. Strategy presented a fork in the road, with the fleet was divided on the coastal route or staying offshore.

Team Alvimedica benefited early from being offshore, but soon ran into a wind transition which shuffled the standings. However, the pendulum swung back by 1800 UTC, as furthest inshore Team SCA and MAPRE got hit hard, with the Team Alvimedica taking back the lead.

“What’s pretty amazing is that we’ve seen everything today – dead calm, a water spout, a steady breeze, and a full on frontal system,” Team SCA’s Libby Greenhalgh says.

Tonight could well be vital as the precious trade winds lie just ahead of the fleet, and the team that reaches them first will have a ticket to the fast lane.

Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:55 UTC)

1. Team Alvimedia, Charlie Enright (USA), 5826.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 7.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 8.0 nm DTL
4. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 9.1 nm DTL
5. Team Bunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 9.7 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 11.8 DTL
7. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 13.3 nm DTL

Race websiteTrackingWatch logVideos

Week 1:
Mark Chisnell will post his analysis each week, providing a day by day look at the conditions and which teams handled them best (or worst). Click here to view.

Broadcast: The Volvo Ocean Race’s flagship half-hour weekly show, Life at the Extreme, began last weekend, and will round up all the action for 39 weeks from start to finish. For show dates and times:
Canada is on SportsNet
USA is on NBC SN and Outside Television

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began Leg 1 on October 11, which takes the 7 teams 6478nm from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. ETA is Oct. 31 – Nov. 9. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series. Final finish on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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