Volvo Ocean Race: Screwball Conditions Ahead

Published on May 5th, 2015

(May 5, 2015; Day 17) – Following the Volvo Ocean Race is much like any sailing event that seeks to be spectator friendly: the screwier the conditions, the better the show. And for those cheering for the home team Alvimedica, it could get exciting as the prospect for serious screwball conditions could help to fulfill their aspirations of a podium finish. Amory Ross, reporter for the Turkish/American entry, shares an update….

“There’s a conflicting conscience onboard. We have been looking forward to racing back into Newport ever since we left almost a year ago. However, these final miles seem too few when you consider we float in fifth and 19 miles back from the leaders. That is by no means an insurmountable mark but if the wind continues to blow like it has it will be hard to find a way back to the front of the fleet.

“Fortunately, the weather models suggest a total shutdown of wind about 150 miles south of Newport, 2-3 knots. It’s certainly not ideal from a sailing standpoint but it may stall the leaders long enough for us to rejoin the fray at the front.

“It’s an opportunity we’re hopeful for but certainly not counting on, which is why it’s been so beneficial having MAPFRE glued to the horizon on the bow. They’re continuing to push us hard and after several days of trading places, they’ve been smoother in the stronger winds since yesterday’s cold front—also confirming (and exploiting) our shortcomings going upwind on the jib. But we now have reaching sails up and as the breeze lightens and lifts approaching the next area of high pressure, we will hopefully find ourselves back in downwind conditions that play to our strengths.

“It has happened so many times this race, that after thousands and thousands of miles spent crossing this world’s oceans it is the final hundred or so that decide the outcome. As much as we’re already thinking about Newport and how great it will be to get back there, we promise we’re doing our best to prepare for every opportunity we may get between now and then to show how far we’ve come since we last left!”

Arrival Update: The arrival estimate is Thursday morning (local time). To receive text and/or email updates, click here

Leg 6 (5,010 nm) Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 371.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 2.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 7.1 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 12.7 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 19.3 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 41.0 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 sixth leg, from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, USA (5,010 nm), began April 19 with an ETA of May 7.

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