Double Barrel Nail Biter
Published on December 4th, 2014
The weather forecast experts at PredictWind provide this Volvo Ocean Race update on the conditions facing the fleet.
(December 4, 2014; Day 16) – The leading boats are now clearing out of the Doldrums with westerly winds around 10 knots. There is still a light and tricky patch ahead as they boats transition a 180 degree wind change into the NE Monsoon winds. The NE monsoon winds are forecasted to be in 10-15 knot range, but increasing to 20 knots as the teams approach Oman. They will be going from pleasant reaching condition back into upwind conditions as they approach Oman.
The leading pack, consisting of Abu Dhabi followed by Dongfeng / Brunel to the southeast, will enter to the Gulf of Oman without many opportunities for the trailing boats to play catch-up, according to the PredictWind routing.
Team SCA, MAPFRE and Alvimedica, who were delayed by keeping watch over the unfortunate grounding of Vestas Wind, have a wide split behind and to either side of the leading pack. The race between these three teams will be interesting. MAPFRE are slightly ahead, according to our routing, and will be followed closely by Alvimedica and SCA, however with a split of 300nm and a routing forecast showing only hours between each boat, it should be a very close and exciting race to watch.
With the two groups of 3 boats all battling into the port at Abu Dhabi this finish will be a double barrel nail biter.
Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven 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. The second offshore leg from Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE is 6,125 nm, started Nov. 19 with an ETA of Dec. 9-16.