VOR: Life at extreme boredom
Published on January 15th, 2015
(January 15, 2015; Day 13) – This is supposed to be the easy section of this leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. After the precarious turn at Sri Lanka, and before the booby-trapped Malacca Strait, the Bay of Bengal was to provide a monotonous one tack 900-mile fetch in the northeasterly monsoons.
Ha, ha, ha.
The fleet is half way after two days, but posting speeds today of only 2 to 3 knots, with leader Dongfeng covering only 66 nm in 24 hours, the boredom was enough for the Chinese team to pull out their drone copter for some play time.
“I think it’s going to be a nightmare over the next 48 hours, and till the end maybe,” skipper Charles Caudrelier declares. “This leg is really light and we’ve still got 14 days to go.”
As the teams suffer through the lack of wind, and agonize about getting left behind by bad luck, they know the worst part of the leg – Malacca Strait – remains ahead.
The 500nm long stretch of water, separating Malaysia from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and the fleet will need to dodge plenty of shipping as welll as floating – and submerged – man-made debris.
With no wind, teams are lowering sails to repair and diving in for hull inspection, but there’s no word yet if they are dropping hooks for fresh food. Maybe that will be a requirement of the next race… to eat only what they can catch. Now that would really be ‘Life at the Extreme’.
Leg 3 (4,642 nm) Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 2142.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 65.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 71.4 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 73.8 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 80.4 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 105.1 DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start
Background: The fleet is now on Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China (4,642 nm), which started Jan. 3 with an ETA on or after Jan. 19. 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.