Volvo Ocean Race: Rich get richer

Published on December 20th, 2017

(December 20, 2017; Leg 3, Day 11) – When the Volvo Ocean Race teams began leg three from Cape Town to Melbourne, they all held the same game plan. It is well known that in the Southern Ocean, you go south for the most wind and the shortest route.

In the past that meant dodging icebergs, but now with the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ) in place to keep the fleet out known danger areas, there’s little mystery on what to do. Go south until you can’t.

But like most game plans, there is a difference between knowing what to do and doing it, and right now no team is doing it better than skipper Xabi Fernández’s team on MAPFRE.

“We continue skirting the northern part of the ice exclusion zone, on starboard jibe downwind with a 20 knot SW wind,” reports navigator Juan Vila. “We expect to throw a few jibes again later today and night, by the eastern portion of this northern exclusion zone line. After that, we will be free to decide and set our course towards Melbourne. The rest of the trip looks to be reasonably fast to the Melbourne entrance.”

Further back in the fleet there is good news and bad news. The status of Team Brunel’s Annie Lush is improving since injuring her back a few days ago. While not yet fully able, she can now get out of her bunk and move around. However, the news is less good at the tail of the fleet as an easterly-moving high pressure system could thwart their progress.

While the leaders appear to be arriving into Melbourne on Christmas Day local time, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Turn the Tide on Plastic and team Akzonobel could be arriving much later.

“We have a high pressure chasing us down and a barrier we must stay north of,” said Dee Caffari, skipper on sixth-placed Turn the Tide on Plastic. “All the pressure is to the south where we are not allowed to go. As a result we risk being swallowed up and arriving much later to Melbourne than those ahead who will squeeze through. Damn it!”

A late arrival will heap unwanted pressure to turn the boats round in time for the start of Leg 4 to Hong Kong on January 2.


To see Leg 3 crew lists… click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 3 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 1590.0 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 8.2 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 100.6 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 150.6 nm DTL
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 313.7 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 413.3 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 512.8 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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