Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng leads like a leader
Published on May 24th, 2015
(May 24, 2015; Day 8) – The eagerly awaited right hand shift has come and it has arrived in style, with the WNW direction testing the downwind tactics of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. Too bad it will be the light air downwind tactics.
Negotiating the high-pressure system in the fleet’s way has been the main mission for several days now. Teams were trading off extra distance sailed for more wind north against the flip side of that to the south. But that game has ended as both north and south sides of the course are sub 10 knots
With the wind clocking all the way from SWS to past west, Dongfeng acted decisively, being the first team to gybe to port and benefiting from the new angle. Smart, as so often they are.
MAPFRE and Team Brunel also performed well just on the hip of the Charles Caudrelier’s boat. These two teams have been playing the new sport of synchronized sailing and don’t look like giving in just yet. They are matching each other’s moves perfectly … an easy feat when you can visually see each other.
Abu Dhabi, to the north of the front three, is desperately trying to get back in touch with the leaders, while SCA and Alvimedica are taking their sword further north to either win or die.
All of this manoeuvering is set to speed up, as they sail towards much more wind off the west coast of Portugal, before a possible light finish closer to land.
Leg 7 (2,800 nm) Position Report (as of 21:42 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 864.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 4.9 nm DTL
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 5.2 nm Distance to Lead
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 11.1 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 13.1 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 27.9 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 on May 27.