Volvo Ocean Race: Go for the wind

Published on January 11th, 2018

(January 11, 2018; Leg 4; Day 10) – When the Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Melbourne, their mission was to compete on a 5,600 nm course to Hong Kong. But after four days in the Doldrums, the teams are now in 100 nm race to the tradewinds. Don’t believe the rankings until then.

Anyone who has sailed dinghies on a lake know that when given the choice between drifting toward the next mark, or significantly angling away to go for solid wind, you go for the wind. You always go for the wind.

It’s no secret the northeasterly trades are due north, and no team has executed that plan as well as Vestas 11th Hour Racing. While they may not be the closest team to Hong Kong, which is to the northwest, they are the closest team to the trades.

“We put ourselves in a good position and we’re happy with where we are,” reports skipper Mark Towill. “It’s been an incredible effort by the team. We’re looking forward to another exciting night, getting to the trade winds and into more stable breeze.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing might be leading the northerly push but Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel have the same idea and are excruciatingly close. MAPFRE and Turn the Tide on Plastic might be atop the rankings, but they are miles astern of the northerly threesome, and when the wind increases, the train may leave them at the station.

To see Leg 4 crew lists… click here.


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Leg 4 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 3057.9 nm DTF
2. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 2.6 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA), 2.8 nm DTL
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 2.8 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 4.1 nm DTL
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 19.4 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 27.6 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

Beginning on January 2, Leg 4 is a 5,600 nautical mile race up the east coast of Australia from Melbourne, into the Coral Sea and up north to Hong Kong. The ETA for Hong Kong will be more certain after the boats clear the Doldrums but is penciled in for January 20 to 21.

Overall Results (after 3 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 29 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 23
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 14
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 11
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 9
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 6

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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