VOR: Change is on the way

Published on February 17th, 2015

(February 17, 2015; Day 10) – The morning began with Team Brunel’s lead over the Volvo Ocean Race fleet having shrunk overnight from just under 100 nautical miles to 30, with the team gaining back much of it during the day. After nearly a week of consistency, more fluctuations are anticipated.

“We’ve been sailing this way for so long now that it’s hard to imagine anything else, close-reaching east-southeast in 15-20 knots and a lumpy sea state,” reported Amory Ross on Alvimedica. “But now the winds are changing and we’re soon approaching new obstacles. Islands. The Doldrums. New strategies and new modes are not far away. You can already see more interest in what Will and Charlie are looking at and everyone’s spending more time at the Nav station.”

Positioned directly in front of the pack, Brunel is now at 7 degrees north, with the fleet sailing into a transition zone before entering the Intertropical Convergence Zone this weekend. They will be crossing the Equator by Friday morning.

“The heat is strong and humidity is stronger than ever,” reports Francisco Vignale on MAPRE. “You really need the ventilator to get some sleep and the smallest movement causes you to start sweating straight away. Wearing your waterproof gear is a pain, but it’s better to be on deck than inside the boat. We are constantly bailing to not have any water inside so that it doesn’t condensate and doesn’t add any extra weight.”

What remains for the fleet is they are not aiming toward the finish. They are close reaching on a southeasterly track, a result of more wind to the east, so no one is bearing away and heading south for Auckland. How far east should they go? The answer should come later this week.

Leg 4 (5,264 nm) Position Report (as of 21:55 UTC)
1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 2792.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 61.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 80.4 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Xabi Fernandez (ESP), 83.1 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 117.1 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 117.6 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start

Race websiteTrackingScoreboardVideos


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 fourth leg, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand (5,264 nm), began Feb. 8 with an ETA of Mar. 1-5.

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