Volvo Ocean Race: Opportunities Ahead
Published on May 21st, 2015
(May 21, 2015; Day 5) – The Volvo Ocean Race continues to be a dogfight as the fleet pushes east, but having now slipped from the Gulf Stream, the sailors are fighting with a lot more clothes on.
“One hour we’re all walking around with sneakers, fleeces, and sunglasses,” observed Amory Ross on Alvimedica, “and the next we’re wearing seaboots, winter hats, and every ounce of clothing we brought in our bags.”
Brunel, which had broken free from the fleet yesterday, got reeled back in as the fleet descended on the western corner of the ice limit. Along the 180 nm fence that stretched east, the fleet today has been thick as thieves, all remaining to the north along its limit.
Unlike the random conditions yesterday, today was a steady southerly in the teens, offering a true wind angle just aft of the beam. With the fleet now having reached the eastern corner of the ice limit an hour ago, they are climbing further to the north, moving the TWA back to 130 degrees.
The broader reaching angles comes to the relief of Alvimedica, which has not yet solved their tight reaching speed issues. They are again within sight of the leaders, with the pending forecast offering a chance to advance further.
“There will be opportunities ahead for sure,” shared Ross, “especially when approaching the Azores High as the leaders will slow down first, so with a week to go we are still very much in the thick of it out here.”
Leg 7 (2,800 nm) Position Report (as of 21:43 UTC)
1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 1773.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 0.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 0.4 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 1.5 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 2.4 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 11.6 nm DTL
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 seventh leg, from Newport, USA to Lisbon, Portugal (2,800 nm), began May 17 with an ETA between May 27 and 29.