When Lady Luck becomes the winning tactician

Published on December 11th, 2014

(December 11 2014; Day 23) – There is little to say about this leg of the Volvo Ocean Race that hasn’t already been said. The lead three teams are in the Gulf of Oman and now entering the Strait of Harmuz. The wind is light, flukey, and funky. After sailing for nearly 6,000 nm from Cape Town, the winner in Abu Dhabi will be decided in this narrow span entering the Persian Gulf.

“Gladiators in the time of Rome,” said Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Brunel, holding a narrow lead. “Before they got their freedom, they first had to pass a cage with lions. That’s our situation!”

Meanwhile, in the second group, Alvimedica and MAPFRE find themselves in something of a drag race. They are just now entering the Gulf, with MAPFRE gaining some valuable miles over their Turkish-American rivals.

“Things are going to get messy,” says Jean-Luc Nelias, navigator for MAPRE, “for the wind’s going to disappear. And soon the Volvo ‘in-shore’ Race begins again.”

Grounded: Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck spoke with Vestas skipper Chris Nicholson for an update, in which he shared that the boat will never sail again. It is likely now that a salvage team may need to demo the boat on site and remove it piece by piece. Look for the complete interview to be published asap.

Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)

1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 252.3.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 3.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 5.2 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 191.2 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 192.2nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 284.8 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing

Race WebsiteTrackingWatch LogVideos

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.

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