Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng wins the match race
Published on May 6th, 2015
(May 6, 2015; Day 18) – For Dongfeng, which four days ago took the lead of this leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, it had been an exceedingly painful day trying to stay ahead of their main adversary, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, to arrive first in Newport.
But in the end, they succeeded.
After breaking their mast on the previous leg to Itajai, Brazil, Dongfeng had just enough time to fit a new rig to reach the start line of the 5,010 nm Leg 6 on April 19. But they immediately returned to form, demonstrating a tier of speed that only Abu Dhabi could consistently match.
With multiple weather and current transitions along the eastern coast of the US, the final hurdle was a light wind approach to Block Island and Narragansett Bay. The two paced each other all day, separated by less than a mile and often much less. In a fading seabreeze and an outgoing current, Dongfeng retained control during the final gybing duel to cross the finish as the leg winner.
Leg 6 (5,010 nm) Position Report (as of May 7 02:04 UTC/ May 6 19:04 EDT)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), finished May 6
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), finished May 6
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 2.5 nm Distance to Finish
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 7.4 nm DTF
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 26.8 nm DTF
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 71.0 nm DTF
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start
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.