Volvo Ocean Race: The Calm Before The Storm
Published on June 8th, 2015
(June 8, 2015; Day 2) – There’s nothing like a shifty light air upwind leg to level the Volvo Ocean Race field, with both SCA and Vestas Wind showing the fleet their sterns as they crawl upwind north along the Spanish coast.
At 0800 UTC, when the new breeze started to fill in, SCA benefited from their position to the right of the fleet, which was further enhanced when a 100º+ wind shift to the right happened more suddenly than for those to the west.
When the wind then shifted to the left around 1030 UTC, SCA was ahead and able to cover the fleet on port tack back to the coast, with Vestas Wind also leading back to the right. From there it was playing the shifts near land, which both did better than the rest.
“It has been really tricky thunderstorm conditions, with lots of tacks and sail changes to keep pace with the changes,” reports SCA skipper Sam Davies. “We’re pleased to see our strategy working, and have managed to get a bit of rest as well, which should serve us well as the winds strengthen ahead.”
When the fleet reaches the corner of the Galician coast, 60 nm ahead, the game will see a big change.
“There is one more transition zone before Cape Finisterre where the wind will drop again,” Davies continued. “After that we are expecting 40 knots and an extreme sea state. It will be quite a contrast to the flat water and 10 knots of wind we now have.”
Leg 8 (647 nm) Position Report (as of 21:35 UTC)
1. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 501.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS) 2.8 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 9.6 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 9.7 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 9.8 nm DTL
6. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 15.4 nm DTL
7. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 19.3 nm DTL
Race website – Tracking – Scoreboard – Videos
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 eighth leg from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France (647 nm) started on June 7 with an ETA on June 11.