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Volvo Ocean Race: Playing the lottery

Published on February 16th, 2018

(February 16, 2018; Day 10) – Team AkzoNobel is looking to get an early start on the weekend, making a serious bid to be first out of the doldrums this afternoon.

The team is now furthest south in the fleet and is beginning to pick up the westerly breeze that would indicate they’re past the worst of the light and variable winds that plague this area.

But who will progress best through the challenging conditions, where strong cloud formations produce hyper-localised weather, is not yet clear.

“Each position report is very important right now,” says Turn the Tide on Plastic navigator Nico Lunven. “We are in this tricky wind area, so it’s key to see what wind the other boats have, so we can understand what is happening. We’re not doing too bad… third, behind Akzo and Brunel.”

One of the most frustrated teams will be MAPFRE, who seem to have a cloud following them around, bringing light, variable conditions, while their neighbours make quicker progress.

“We sailed into the transition and we’ve been doing a lot of sail changes all night,” said Louis Sinclair. “We’ve been stuck in no wind at times and a lot of the other boats have come past us with pressure, so I’m pretty sure we’re at the back of the fleet right now.

“We’re working hard to get back forward… There are so many transitions to come and it’s so far to go to Auckland… The trick is not to get too happy when you’re in front or too sad when you’re behind, just keep on sailing.”

And just in case any of you think this is going to be short-lived, Scallywag navigator Libby Greenhalgh tells us to expect several days of unsettled weather before the fleet settles in for the final push to New Zealand.

“The next week is going to be tough, interspersed with some nice westerly breeze but ultimately there is an element of luck needed,” Greenhalgh wrote in a blog. “We are hunting hard to get through these light winds and into the westerly first.

“As always there is an element of not really having control over where you can go and once we rattled south into the light winds we just have to make the most of it.”

That will be the mantra fleet-wide this weekend – whatever you get, make the most of it.

Beginning on February 7, Leg 6 is listed as a 6,100 nautical mile course from Hong Kong to Auckland, New Zealand.

For crew lists… click here.

Damage: Only six of the seven teams are competing in Leg 6 as Vestas 11th Hour Racing is repairing their boat following the collision with a fishing boat as they neared the finish line of Leg 4 in Hong Kong. The team shipped their boat to Auckland to complete repairs in time for the March 18 start of Leg 7 to Itajaí, Brazil.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 6 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 2405.4 nm DTF
2. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 46.1 nm DTL
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 93.0 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 126.6 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 140.5 nm DTL
6. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 145.5 nm DTL
DNS. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; DNS – Did Not Start

Overall Results (after 5 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 34 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 30
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
4. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 20
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 18
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 15
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 9

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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