Volvo Ocean Race: Approaching the turn

Published on October 25th, 2017

(October 25, 2017; Day 4, 21:06 UTC) – After 24 hours of tricky sailing through light, fickle breeze the Volvo Ocean Race fleet were today locked in an all-out drag race towards Porto Santo, the first major turning mark in Leg 1.

With 12 knots coming from the southeast, the field is enjoying beam reaching conditions, posting speeds over 14 knots as they track on a southwesterly course. Leaders Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now within 85 nautical miles of the waypoint, a tiny island that forms part of Portugal’s Madeira archipelago.

If Vestas 11th Hour Racing can hold on to the top spot until then it will pay big dividends – they will be able to accelerate away as they bear away, hoist their downwind sails and head north towards a new waypoint added to the course and then on to the finish at Lisbon, Portugal.

A virtual mark, called ‘Porto Santo North’, approximately 220 miles due north of Port Santo Island, has been added as a mark of the course. Like Porto Santo, the teams will need to leave this mark to starboard, before turning east to head to Lisbon.

The possibility of this course change was known to the teams in advance and, as it comes after Porto Santo, had no bearing on strategy. The additional waypoint adds approximately 200 miles to the race course, and given the current pace of the fleet, is a fan-friendly decision to assure the arrival into Lisbon on Saturday.

The backmarkers will enjoy the extra miles of the course change to get back into the race, but for now the final four teams are in a group and getting a good measure of each other.

However, an incident earlier in the day on Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag could have dropped them off the peloton when the swivel pin at the top of their masthead Code Zero released the enormous headsail into the water. Quick crew work minimized the loss… watch the video here.

Leg 1 – Position Report (21:06 UTC)
1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 751.0 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED) 14.5 nm DTL
3. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP) 17.1 nm DTL
4. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS) 33.1 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA) 34.2 nm DTL
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED) 36.2 nm DTL
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR) 37.4 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader

To see the crew lists… click here.

Race detailsLive contentScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

The first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race started on October 22 and extends 1450 nm from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal via Porto Santo.

2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)

Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race

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