Maintaining the intensity along the coastal course

Published on October 16th, 2014

(October 16, 2014; Day 6) – The Volvo Ocean Race continues to follow the coast along the Western Sahara, with the offshore option off the table until the trade winds start pumping. Downwind sailing in winds of 8-17 knots, with shifting breeze due to land affects, opportunity presents itself with each gybe.

After conceding the lead to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing overnight, the Dongfeng guys took an option early this morning, sailing outside and away from the coast. Thanks to a local effect, they gained some miles and crossed back in first position.

“It’s going to be a long nine months if it’s like this all the way,” chuckles Simon Fisher on board Abu Dhabi. His skipper Ian Walker has been taking naps at the navigation desk, scared of missing a single second of the action.

Each gybe requires the off watch, making rest a challenge. “The idea is that we do four hours on, four hours off – but so far on this trip, there hasn’t been much of the four hours off,” explains Annie Lush of Team SCA. Team Alvimedica discusses their watch system in this video: CLICK HERE

Having skirted between the Canary Islands and the coast, the next milestone is the Cape Verde Islands – some 600 miles to the south. After that, it will be to find a path through the doldrums, and then a fast track towards Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the Brazilian coast, a mandatory turning mark in the course before the fleet can continue to the finish in Cape Town.

Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5382.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 4.9 nm Distance to Lead
3. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 7.6 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 12.3 nm DTL
5. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 12.9 nm DTL
6. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 18.7 nm DTL
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 20.9 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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