Volvo Ocean Race: Cold, wet, no escape
Published on November 21st, 2017
(November 21, 2017; Leg 2, Day 17) – The second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race might be entering its final few days but the final positions are far from decided. With just over 1200 nm still to sail, and a host of tactical opportunities on the horizon, this leg is anything but decided.
Team Brunel emerged from stealth mode today at 0700 UTC as the most northerly boat in the leading group of four.
Boat captain Abby Ehler revealed yesterday that Brunel navigator Andrew Cape favoured a southerly route before the team disappeared from the rankings but shortly after 2200 UTC they switched tactics and began positioning themselves above their rivals.
However their hopes of getting the better of their rivals while in stealth mode were dashed – the move saw them slip from second to fourth in the rankings.
“This part of the leg feels like when you’re stuck a chairlift in the rain and you can’t get off – cold, wet and no escape! Lucky I love sailing,” said Brunel trimmer Kyle Langford.
MAPFRE continued to lead the seven-strong fleet today with Dongfeng now leaping up to the second, showing a speed edge over Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 20+ knot broad reaching conditions.
Bruno Dubois, the Dongfeng Race Team director who has been watching the drama from on shore, says all the pre-race training over the summer is paying off.
“We found a couple of things during the summer about how to make the boat go fast in the breeze and that is exactly what we are doing now,” said Dubois. “It is not a lot in performance terms – it’s about half a knot – but you can see that the crew on MAPFRE are doing the same – we both managed to find settings on the boat that make it go fast.”
Leg 2 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 1192.6 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 25.2 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 32.3 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 40.3 nm DTL
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 89.0 nm DTL
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 117.1 nm DTL
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 120.2 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader; STM – Stealth Mode
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: Volvo Ocean Race, Scuttlebutt