Volvo Ocean Race: It’s down to who wants it more
Published on November 2nd, 2014
(November 2, 2014; Day 23) – The Volvo Ocean Race boats are now aimed towards Cape Town and ready for the final push. There’s still potential for a shakeup, and even a park up further down the line, which offers optimism for everyone but the leader.
“We made a really good play, worked hard to get a good lead, and then to realise that’s just going to disappear is quite hard to take,” admits Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker. “It’s frustrating, but we’re under no illusions – we’ve been looking at the weather now for three or four days, and it has always said that the fleet is going to close right up. We’re still in the lead, and we’ve still got every chance of winning the leg so we’re a lot better off than some of the boats.”
With winds fluctuating today from full on to hardly on, the ever-changing weather is complicated, and is set to stay that way, with a high pressure system keeping the navigators on their toes. The only constant, so it seems, has been the temperature. It’s cold.
“While we have ventured over to the north side of the 40 degree line it’s still getting colder,” shared Brian Carlin. “I can see my breath at night as I type my blogs and edit the videos. Poor Tom Johnson looks even colder every time I pass his bunk; he told me this morning he’s wearing everything he owns. I feel his plight; I too now wear almost all my available clothing. My feet feel the worse, well I can’t confirm or deny that statement, as I haven’t had full feeling in them for a day now.”
With the arrival date either Wednesday or Thursday (Nov. 5-6), the final push is now. “The competitiveness has jumped to another level on deck, noted Matt Knighton on Abu Dhabi. “The guys’ awareness of the situation is starting to grind into their daily rhythms. They know they can last 3 more days until the finish despite sleep deprivation and rest. It’s all down to who wants it more.”
Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 1042.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 10.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 31.1 nm DTL
4. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 60.3 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 137.8 nm DTL
6. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 303.6 nm DTL
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 437.5 DTL
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 Nov. 5-6. 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.