Volvo Ocean Race: It’s Complicated

Published on June 17th, 2015

(June 17, 2015; Day 2) – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has been battling its way up the north French coast, past bays, beaches and headlands. “It is without a doubt the most complicated leg of this race,” reports Amory Ross from Alvimedica.

Light northerly winds and strong currents early today held boat speeds in check, making it a challenge to round Pointe du Raz and head east toward the English Channel

While the bulk of the fleet went offshore for better wind and lesser current, SCA took the inshore option to battle the elements.

“We approached the area with a few knots of boat speed, but the stream got stronger and stronger the closer we got,” reported Anna-Lena Elled on SCA. “When we arrived, it looked like the water was boiling under us.”

Though they got pushed backwards three times, once they got around all the teams soon merged and shifted into overdrive in the afternoon as they aimed east towards the Western Approaches. With the wind now from the west, Alvimedica was posting speeds near 20 knots as they hold the lead.

The estimated time of arrival at the pit-stop in Scheveningen, near The Hague remains between 1400 UTC on Thursday and 0500 UTC on Friday morning.

The boats will be precisely timed upon arrival, and will start again at 1200 local time on Saturday, departing for Gothenburg with whatever advantage or deficit they took into the pit stop on their rivals.

They are expected to arrive in Gothenburg on Monday (June 22), or, possibly the following day. The Volvo Ocean Race officially concludes following the final In-Port race in Gothenburg on June 27.

Accident: More details have emerged about the accident that occurred at the start of the leg, which now we learn involved the 40-meter maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 and an official course boat. The injured person, who had to be airlifted, was likely gashed by the trimaran’s blades. For full story and photos, click here.

Leg 9 (930 nm) Position Report (as of 22:02 UTC)
1. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 721.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 7.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 7.8 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 10.3 nm DTL
5. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 12.2 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 13.1 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS) 17.5 nm DTL

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 ninth and final leg from Lorient, France to Gothenburg, Sweden (930 nm) started on June 16 with an ETA on June 22.

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