VOR: Dongfeng survives the Malacca Strait

Published on January 21st, 2015

(January 21, 2015; Day 19) – The Malacca Strait has a history in the Volvo Ocean Race of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. But for Dongfeng Race Team, entering the Strait three days ago in the lead, have officially survived the 600nm transit, today clearing the final hurdle of Singapore and now stretching their legs in the South China Sea.

All that is left is 1000 nm upwind. Yee-Haw!

As for the bulk of the pack, they remain as close as day one. “The bungee holding the fleet together is strong,” reported Amory Ross on Alvimedica, “strong enough that every time someone sails away the process reverses within the first hour or two.”

The fleet exists the Singapore Strait in a northeasterly, not far from the direction of the finish in Sanya. As they extend on port tack, their next challenge will be to choose their routing for the South China Sea.

“Our eyes feel heavy, we are soaked in sweat, the heat really wears us out, and the stress and pressure from the other boats won’t give us any rest,” reports Francisco Vignale on MAPRE.

Two main options exist – one, heading up the Malaysian shore line through the Pulau Tioman Islands, or two, through the Kepulanuan Anambas Islands and Raiu Islands spread between Malaysia and Indonesia at the narrowest point.

With Donfeng’s lead now appearing unassailable, the race for second is on!

Leg 3 (4,642 nm) Position Report (as of 21:55 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 1048.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 68.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 70.7 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 71.0 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 71.7 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 149.6 DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start

Race websiteTrackingScoreboardVideos

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.

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