Volvo Ocean Race: Icebergs to starboard

Published on December 16th, 2017

(December 16, 2017; Leg 3, Day 7) – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has been making ground to the northeast over the past 24 hours, the northerly component of their progress largely as a result of the Antarctica Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ) being shifted to the north yesterday.

When Race Control learned of an iceberg to the northeast of the Kerguelen Islands, a prudent decision yesterday was made to move the AIEZ to the north, to keep the fleet out of a known iceberg area.

“The safety of the crews is our first priority,” explained Race Director Phil Lawrence. “We do not want teams surfing down waves at over 25 knots of boatspeed at night, in an area where we have been told there is a significant risk of encountering ice.”

The wind is still up at the moment – 20 to 25 knots, and gusting upwards of 35 knots at times, in squally conditions.

“When you furl the FR0 (fractional code zero headsail) and have two reefs and the J3 (small jib) for a squall and the boat is still doing 30 knots, you know it’s pretty windy!” said Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari.

But there are also occasional light patches around. Fall into one of these and the mood on the boat darkens with the suspicion that the opposition is charging along at full speed while you’re trying to regain the wind.

Earlier this morning, Vestas 11th hour racing fell into a lighter area and skipper Charlie Enright has been preparing for the worst as he waits for the next position sked.

“It’s been a frustrating day of sailing through clouds but we ground through it as best we can,” he said. “It’s a foreseen circumstance that the guys behind us are going to come into us, but hopefully a little less because of the effort we’ve put in.”

At the front of the fleet, Dongfeng continues to lead MAPFRE in a charge to the northern tip of the exclusion zone.

team AkzoNobel continues to lose ground on the fleet as they make a repair on their mast track which would allow them to get back up to full speed. The team was forced to hit the brakes on December 14 after suffering damage to the mainsail track while gybing in 35 knots, and has been racing under headsail alone.


To see Leg 3 crew lists… click here.

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Leg 3 – Position Report (13:00 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 3453.6 nm DTF
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 15.0 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 99.3 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 166.8 nm DTL
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 176.6 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 202.5 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 377.3 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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