VOR: Drag Race to Exotic Places
Published on December 10th, 2014
(December 10, 2014; Day 22) – And now it gets interesting. The top three teams in the Volvo Ocean Race have made the turn at Muscat off the Omani coast, and are now seeking solutions in the Gulf of Oman. The wind has lightened, the threesome have compressed, and it is only the beginning. The Strait of Harmuz should be even funkier.
“The coastlines of Oman and Iran are famous for their mountains,” observed Donfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “But the wind doesn’t like mountains much. It’s going to be very tricky, and the boat that sails best in this area is likely to win the leg.”
The three leading boats will have to play with the thermal breeze caused by the Al Hajar Mountains. Located right next to the Arabian Sea and affecting the weather pattern in the area, these massifs are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula.
The fight for fourth place should be as close, with MAPRE taking bites today out of Alvimedica’s lead. “We eagerly wait for each sked to find out whether we managed to cut the distance down or not,” notes MAPRE reporter Francisco Vignale. “We are in hunting mode, and won’t let a meter go.”
The pair is just over 100 nm from the Gulf of Oman when they too get to tackle the tactical hurdles of the region.
Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 385.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5.7 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 21.1 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 260.6 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 273.3 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 385.5 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing
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. 12-15.