Volvo Ocean Race: Cape Town to deliver proper climax
Published on November 4th, 2014
(November 4, 2014; Day 25) – The Volvo Ocean Race leader will arrive in Cape Town by Wednesday afternoon; the question is who will it be? With Abu Dhabi seeing Dongfeng reduce its lead in each sked today, the game seems far from over.
“The high pressure is going to be a problem,” observed Mark Chisnell, analyst for B&G. “We can see the high pushing down onto the race course and a hole in the breeze developing – on the other side of it is a pleasant looking south-easterly that will bring everyone home… once they reach it.
“The forecast calls for a transitional period with a wind shift through 90 degrees, an encroaching high and some pretty unstable conditions. All bets are off. And the pressure is on. Who’s gonna win? Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing or Dongfeng Race Team. After that, your guess is as good as mine. It’s going to come down to the mind game, and close-up, tactical fighting.”
There isn’t much room left for big strategic decisions – it’s all about performance, and playing the local effects when approaching Cape Town. A three or four hour lead can easily be lost there, partly because of the impact of the mountains on the wind.
Back in the fleet, the young guns on Alvimedica are recognizing their personal milestone.
“This is now the longest I’ve been on a boat—and with the exception of Will Oxley who has circumnavigated nonstop—everyone else, too,” noted Amory Ross on Alvimedica. “The routing indicates a bit of light before a proper bashing into the finish. Sounds like we’ll be arriving in Cape Town upwind with two reefs and the tiny J3. It’s never easy!”
Leg 1 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 200.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 3.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 41.1 nm DTL
4. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 100.5 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 361.6 nm DTL
6. Mapfre, Iker Martinez (ESP), 508.2 nm DTL
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 569.2 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. 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.