Volvo Ocean Race: A lesson in leverage

Published on October 15th, 2014

(October 15, 2014; Day 5) – Dropping from first to last position in a day, Team Alvimedica has swallowed hard in the lesson of leverage. When the boats are one design, getting out on the edge can be risky business. Their fall is a reminder that conservative tactics will be the mantra for the next nine months.

Team Alvimedica reflects on the first four days of racing in this video: CLICK HERE

Conservative tactics may not be sexy, but they keep you in the game. Two-time Olympic medalist Ian Walker has been vanilla from the start, consistently positioning Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing amidst the fleet, allowing their rank to reflect their sailing skills instead of lucky… or unlucky shifts.

“We’ve played it pretty OK so far,” says Abu Dhabi’s bowman Justin Slattery. “It’s been really pretty tricky here today. It has been really hard to know what the wind was doing for the last hours.”

“When we really don’t have a clue what’s going on, we just sail the fleet,” says Walker.

The continuing lack of trade winds has kept the fleet close to the African coast to pick up the prevalent breeze, with Team SCA as close as 0.5 miles from the shores of Morocco.

After shadowing Walker for much of the day, Dongfeng Race Team now holds the lead, with their route to likely take them between the Canary Islands and the African coast sometime on Thursday.

Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:46 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5605.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 1.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 1.8 nm DTL
4. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 3.1 DTL
5. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 6.1 nm DTL
6. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 7.7 nm DTL
7. Team Alvimedia, Charlie Enright (USA), 8.1 nm DTL

Race websiteTrackingWatch logVideos

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began Leg 1 on October 11, which takes the 7 teams 6478 nm 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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