VOR: Next stop, Vietnam

Published on January 23rd, 2015

(January 23, 2015; Day 21) – The South China Sea is proving to be a pleasant change for the Volov Ocean Race teams compared to the hectic channel racing of the Malacca Strait. There are still plenty of islands and obstacles to avoid, but the more open sea sailing is allowing the teams to stretch their legs again.

As the teams grind upwind on starboard toward the Vietnam coast, Dongfeng maintains its cover on the gang of four behind. Ian Walker, skipper of Abu Dhabi, files this report from the race course…
Quite an interesting tactical scenario right now. We are furthest left sailing into more and more right shift. We are pulling bearing round everyone but we need to as the shift is going right so it gets harder and harder to cross them.

We are taking about one degree per hour off MAPFRE and we hit the land in 24 hours so we should gain another 25 degrees. That would put us at about 170 degrees.

Having said that the rate of gain should increase as the boats get closer together and we should also get a tidal gain at the end. I think we are close enough to Brunel to keep them under control and we already have them back at 176 degrees.

Team America (Alvimedica) are going very well and are level with us on cross wind right now but we should make a jump when we hit the shore first – emphasis on the word ‘should’. All in all it’s a hard one to get your head round.

The routing heavily favours what we are doing and last race Telefonica won the leg by pushing into the shore first as we are doing. I think that is why Capey is pushing this side. It is also complicated by a huge oil rig exclusion zone which may get in Mapfre’s way but we should be to leeward of. Basically it is still very, very tight. I think I am happy with where we are but do not feel 100% in control of the situation!
Leg 3 (4,642 nm) Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 611.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 56.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 64.0 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 66.7 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 71.7 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 164.0 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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