VOR: Who will pull the trigger first?
Published on January 24th, 2015
(January 24, 2015; Day 22) – With all the different styles of racing this leg has thrown at the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, its now a long inshore race along the coast of Vietnam.
Every boat has chosen to go inside the oil field exclusion zone to get to the land where they can make the most of the local effects every sailor knows about from their local waters, but none of the Volvo Ocean 65 racers are local so relying heavily on the charts and navigator to maximize the gains while keeping safe away form rocks.
The tacking frequency is about once every hour on average the last few days, limiting sleep as they grind out the last 48-72 hours.
In the big scheme of things the wind is stable and consistent at 14-15kts, following the coast of Vietnam, slowly going left the further round they go. But as with all coastal sailing, bays have a localized effect on the wind which the fleet is all trying to use to their own advantage.
As the Vietnamese coast starts to curve away from rhumbline, the point will come where the teams have to decide between two options. Their choices will be to stay inshore working the coast and break off late to Sanya, or break off early in the hope of finding stronger wind offshore.
The routing options for this part of the leg are all saying to go offshore… but who will pull the trigger first?
Leg 3 (4,642 nm) Position Report (as of 21:41 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 370.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 40.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 46.6 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 48.9nm DTL
5. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 50.6 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 127.4 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.