Volvo Ocean Race: Lead foot and iron stomach

Published on March 19th, 2015

(March 19, 2015; Day 3) – There are times in the Volvo Ocean Race when there is very little required of you but to put your head down and push hard. In the past 24 hours, that has been the case as the fleet pushes east. With beam on breeze, new leader Team Alvimedica have been posting a 20 knot average, covering a wet and bumpy 449 nm.

“Even in her subdued state X-Cyclone Pam is packing one heck of a punch,” reports Amory Ross on Alvimedia. “Everyone’s either green or exhausted, and often both. The sea state is really confused and it makes doing anything abnormally difficult. We talk a lot about racing these boats, the demands and the skills it requires, but when the conditions are like they are now, simply living takes considerable effort, too.”

The shift in standings reflect how Alvimedica and Brunel to the north have been blessed with more wind from a broader angle. These two boats are using fractional Code Zeros when the others are having to use J2 jibs as they experience a tighter wind angle.

Abu Dhabi had replaced MAPFRE as the southernmost boat, but both have now been edging north, perhaps a result of the ice limit being moved north yesterday when new information came into Race Control.

The next 24 hours will see the wind decrease to 10-15 knots, and with 50+ nm between Alvimedica to the north and Abu Dhabi to the south, we should also expect more changes ahead.

Weather experts are liking Alvimedica’s north position, but there are questions ahead that still must be answered. For their forecast, click here.

Leg 5 (6,776 nm) Position Report (Mar 20, 00:40 UTC)
1. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 5883.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 8.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 24.9 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Xabi Fernandez (ESP), 35.0 nm DTL
5. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 35.4 nm DTL
6. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 39.0 DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start

Race websiteTrackingScoreboardVideosCrew list

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 fifth leg, from Auckland, NZL to Itajaí, Brazil (6,776 nm), began March 18 with an ETA of approximately April 4.

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