Final sprint to Abu Dhabi
Published on December 12th, 2014
(December 12, 2014; Day 24) – After a long night with very light wind for the lead group, Brunel and Dongfeng are even as they exit the Strait of Harmuz and make the ‘final sprint’ to the finish in Abu Dhabi.
No less than a day before their estimated time of arrival, the first three boats are becalmed and desperate to catch the lightest breeze.
“I’d say our chances to win are 50%,” says a weathered Pablo Arrarte on Brunel. “Dongfeng is very close. Both of us can win, and that’s only if Abu Dhabi doesn’t get closer…which is possible! We knew that would happen, because we keep hitting less wind. We just have to keep working. It has been bonito/duro, good/bad, and entertaining too.”
Sniffing for wind and any advantage, both the Dutch and the Chinese boats cut the distance to the Emirati city, sailing trough a gap between the islands of the Musandam peninsula. Only a couple of hundred metres between the ochre rocks, spotting the gusts, and waving at the fishing boats. Photos by Dongfeng reporter Yann Riou.
At the back of the fleet the fight for the fourth place continues. The Team Alvimedica guys have done their best to defend their position at night, despite drifting for a couple of hours.
Leg 2 Position Report (as of 15:40 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 169.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), .7 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 4.2 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 163.9 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 165.8nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 305.5 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing
Estimated Times of Arrival:
– The first three boats are expected across the finish line tomorrow, Saturday 13, from 0500 to 0900 UTC
– Team Alvimedica and MAPFRE are expected to arrive on the same day between 2000 and 2300 UTC.
– Team SCA is likely to finish 24 hours later, between 2100 and 2300 UTC on Sunday 14.
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.