Southern Ocean delivers one last pounding
Published on November 3rd, 2014
(November 3, 2014; Day 24) – With the winner of this leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to likely occur on Wednesday, the fleet today began the transition from open ocean winds to land influenced weather. But the Southern Ocean wasn’t going to release the fleet without one last pounding.
Dongfeng got the worst of it when the sheeting system for the masthead gennaker broke, with the high loads held in that line causing havoc to the leeward side of the cockpit. The damage includes the broken wheel on the starboard side, the pushpit has gone completely, aft stanchions, a comms antennae, and the lifelines on that side of the boat.
“A padeye broke, not a mistake from us,” explained skipper Charles Caudrelier of Dongfeng. “Very strange, not seen that before. We will deal with it and try to stay focused on the job at the moment, but for sure it doesn’t help! [our race].”
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The best of the breeze has been to the south, which hasn’t helped Alvimedica close in on the leaders.
“The sustained 22-24 knots of the last 24 hours have been a lot of fun, there’s no question, but we couldn’t get south with it like the four leaders have, and they’ve stepped to the quick side of a nasty ridge of high pressure we’re desperately trying to outrun,” explained Amory Ross on Alvimedica.
The fleet now has a light air transition zone to cross in the next 24 hours before getting into a South Easterly breeze on the final strait to South Africa.
Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 530.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 4.9 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 30.2 nm DTL
4. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 86.8 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 226.9 nm DTL
6. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 415.4 nm DTL
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 556.9 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.