Volvo Ocean Race: All hands needed

Published on December 17th, 2017

(December 17, 2017; Leg 3, Day 8) – The well-earned reputation of the Southern Ocean continues to test the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. After the Antarctica Ice Exclusion Zone was shifted to the north two days ago due to fear of ice, the teams have been hugging the southern boundary of the race course to stay in the strongest wind as they fly downwind.

Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE have been locked together, relentlessly matching gybes, with MAPFRE reeling in Dongfeng and making the pass at the latest sked.

“During the next 30 hours we are going to gybe at least every hour, so it’s just a nightmare,” explained Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier, a move that requires full crew either on deck to assist with the manoeuvre or stay below to shift all the gear from one side of the boat to the other. The entire procedure can take around 30 minutes of hard physical labour.

“It’s not a pleasure. You have to stack everything, so you have to move about 600 kilograms,” Caudrelier explained. “The boat is moving, you can’t sleep, you have to change everything. It’s just horrible.”

The good news is the weather has improved, though everything is relative in the southern latitudes. “Today was totally opposite from the last few days, bright sunshine and a gentle 15-20 knots of breeze,” reports Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking, “There was one downside, we had to gybe a fair bit, so no regular sleep for the off watch. But today nobody minded this.”

The other good news is how there has been general compression throughout the fleet. Team AkzoNobel is finally back up to sailing at 100 percent. The team had suffered damage to the mainsail track while gybing in 35 knots which had required them to sail under headsail alone since December 14.


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), 3012.5 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 0.7 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 35.3 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 49.3 nm DTL
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 62.3 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 124.8 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 220.8 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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