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Volvo Ocean Race: Trouble lies ahead

Published on December 11th, 2017

(December 11, 2017; Leg 3, Day 2) – After a fast and furious opening 24 hours of Leg 3, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet were today enjoying a brief moment of respite as they cross a high-pressure ridge. Speeds throughout the fleet had dropped to around 10 knots as the ridge of lighter breeze impeded their path south.

“We have to cross a ridge, and they’re always difficult to cross because it’s a transition between two areas of wind in a high pressure system,” Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier said. “We’re trying to leave the high pressure at its southern end to catch the low pressure below but these conditions are always difficult. The wind is very shifty, very light. We are lucky though because the system is moving in the opposite direction to us.”

The lighter winds are a welcome relief to the crews after an exhausting first day to Leg 3, allowing them to check over their boats for damage, dry their soaked wet weather gear – and prepare mentally and physically for what lies ahead.

An enormous low pressure system is currently developing to the west of the fleet, and in a few days will engulf the teams with winds of up to 60 knots.

“There’s a lot of hype about what’s going to happen in a few days’ time,” said Bleddyn Mon, making his debut for Turn the Tide on Plastic in this leg. “We’re all waiting for that to happen, basically. I’m looking forward to a bit of breeze and some big waves.”

Juan Vila, navigator on MAPFRE, added: “Short term we’re expecting the breeze to build to around 20 knots but the big one will be on Thursday or Friday when the first front comes through. The current forecast has winds of well over 40 knots. The main goal will be keeping the boat in one piece.”

At 1300 UTC Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag topped the rankings due to their northerly position, but by 1900 the top four have all benefited from the southerly route in the southwest winds.

To see Leg 3 crew lists… click here.

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Leg 3 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 5428.8 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 1.4 nm DTL
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 3.6 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 4.8 nm DTL
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 9.5 nm DTL
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 11.0 nm DTL
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 15.7 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader

Overall Results (after 2 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 14 points
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 13
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 11
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 7
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 6
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 5
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 2

The third leg started December 10 for the course from Cape Town, South Africa to Melbourne, Australia. The ETA is between the December 24 and 26.

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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