Full on conditions for Volvo Ocean Race
Published on November 6th, 2017
(November 6, 2017; Leg 2, Day 2) – After a fast and furious opening to Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, the fleet is settling into a groove today, with navigators and skippers already facing the first of many critical decisions on this race from Lisbon to Cape Town.
The northeasterly winds of 20+ knots set up a downwind course where teams alternated between consolidating their position to the fleet while stepping to the west to set up their approach to the doldrums. Like any good buoy race, even these offshore teams are gybing on the lifts and soaking on the headers.
Adding to the decision was Madera, a Portuguese archipelago situated southwest of Portugal. Dongfeng nailed the layline on port gybe to clear it, which gives them the lead but also sends their current course into its leeward wind shadow.
“There’s a massive, multi-hundred mile long wind shadow behind Madeira so we don’t want to end up downwind of it,” explains Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari.
Expect the leaderboard to vary greatly until the teams get closer to the equator. When on port gybe, the team is making ground on the distance to finish, but those gybes to starboard are right angles to the course and, while theoretically helping their approach to the doldrums, are going to be costly in the short run.
Today’s tactical game follows a relentless opening day of racing, with winds over 30-knots on the first night at sea, and a heavy ocean swell of 4-metres.
“I don’t know how they do it on deck in these conditions,” reported Sam Greenfield from Turn the Tide on Plastic. “When I got down after shooting my mouth was full of salt and my hands were shaking too much to type. I don’t have words to describe the caliber of (people) I’m surrounded by on this boat.”
Leg 2 – Position Report (20:36 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA) 4667.3 nm DTF
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP) 2.7 nm DTL
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS) 16.7 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 21.5 nm DTL
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED) 27.9 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR) 38.5 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED) 47.6 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader
To see the crew lists… click here.
The second leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race started November 5 and is expected to take three weeks for the seven teams to complete the 7000 nm course from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.
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: Scuttlebutt, Volvo Ocean Race