Volvo Ocean Race: SCA overcomes adversity to finish
Published on April 7th, 2015
(April 7, 2015; Day 22) – Battered and bruised Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) finally completed a grueling Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Tuesday after a series of breakages slowed their arrival to Itajaí, Brazil.
At the beginning of last week, having struggled in 50 knots of wind and a confused sea state, Team SCA were one of three crews to crash on their sides during a Chinese gybe, damaging their fractional code zero, a key sail in the process.
The setback left them with no chance of keeping pace with the main racing pack led by winners, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), which completed the 6,776 nm leg on Sunday.
At one stage, they also lost their electronics overnight, effectively sailing blind in the Southern Ocean.
Then, last Sunday, they were rocked again by three collisions with unidentified objects as they raced up the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic, the first doing considerable damage to the rudder.
“We made it to dock! We made mistakes, we had things go wrong, but we fixed it all and we’ve made it here, and we’re in one piece so we’re happy,” said Davies.
“We proved at the beginning that we could keep up with the others, but then we broke our fractional sail, the sail that we really needed for this leg.
“So we kind of let ourselves down by losing that sail. It was really, really hard; we were frustrated. There was nothing much we could do in certain conditions without our fractional. The race became a bit of different challenge from then on.”
The shore crew, working with the race’s Boatyard team, will now have a busy few days ensuring the boat is back to optimum condition ready for the Team Vestas Wind Itajaí In-Port race on April 18 and the Leg 6 departure for Newport, Rhode Island, a day later.
Meanwhile, Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), who were forced to retire from the leg after breaking their mast on Monday last week, are delivering their stricken boat to Itajaí under sail and motor.
They will have about four days to have their boat repaired in time for the Newport departure.
The sixth leg, from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, USA (5,010 nm), begins April 19 with an ETA of May 4 to 11.
Leg 5 (6,776 nm) Position Report (21:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), Finished Apr 5, 18d 23h 30m 10s
2. MAPFRE, Xabi Fernandez (ESP), Finished Apr 5, 19d 00h 02m 56s
3. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), Finished Apr 5, 19d 00h 24m 32s
4. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), Finished Apr 5, 19d 00h 25m 48s
5. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), Finished Apr 7, 20d 17h 52m 15s
6. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Did not finish
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), 1-3-2-2-1 = 9 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), 2-2-1-3-8 = 16
3. Team Brunel (NED), 3-1-5-5-4 = 18
4. MAPRE (ESP), 7-4-4-1-2 = 18
5. Team Alvimedica (TUR/USA), 5-4-3-4-3 = 19
6. Team SCA (SWE), 6-6-6-6-5 = 29
7. Team Vestas Wind (DNK), 4-8-8-8-8 = 36
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.