Volvo Ocean Race: Staying in phase

Published on March 25th, 2018

(March 25, 2018; Day 8) – As the winds moderate to 20-25 knots today, the seven Volvo Ocean Race boats racing east towards Cape Horn are taking the opportunity to regroup before the next gale.

As the teams had been gybing along the ice exclusion zone in a westerly, Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel extended to the north, perhaps in anticipation of the wind backing, and when the shift came to the WSW, the yellow boat jumped to the lead.

“Some awesome sailing, but also very stressy times, especially when you need to gybe,” said Bekking. “We had some winds of 40 to 45 knots which is no fun, actually it is pure survival mode, but you know the others aren’t holding back either… No way. It is the way we sail.”

There is a group of three teams chasing – Dongfeng Race Team, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, all within a couple of miles of each other while Team AkzoNobel, another proponent of the northern option, is pushing to re-join the pack, but will struggle to slot in ahead of this group.

MAPFRE, who had been either at or near the front since the start of the leg, was along the south boundary and didn’t fare so well in the shift. Also with the winds easing, the damage to their mast track is preventing the team from shaking out a double-reef in the mainsail.

While the rest of the fleet adds sail area in the moderating winds, MAPFRE is sailing underpowered, and at times up to 3 knots slower. They are hopeful for either a repair solution or the wind increasing which is expected tomorrow.

SHK/Scallywag got dropped from the peloton after dealing with problems of their own following an accidental gybe yesterday that put the boat on its side in big winds and heavy seas. Sorting out the boat, which included a repair to the running backs, put the team out of phase and out the back.


COURSE: Starting on March 18, Leg 7 takes the teams from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. Race organizers choose to estimate the tactical distance for each leg rather than list the actual distance, an unusual decision that’s revealed once the race starts and the tracker lists the actual distance to finish. The VOR says Leg 7 is 7600 nm whereas the truth is more like 6623 nm with an ETA in Itajaí between April 4 and 6.

For crew lists … click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 7 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 3568.6 nm DTF
2. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 24.4 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 24.6 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 25.3 nm DTL
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 37.3 nm DTL
6. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 41.7 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 135.3 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

Overall Results (after 6 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 39 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 34
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 23
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 20
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 12

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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