Volvo Ocean Race: The day after

Published on March 27th, 2018

(March 27, 2018; Day 10) – While six crews in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet are facing challenging conditions as they race towards Cape Horn, the seventh team – Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – is working to recover from the tragic loss of crew member John Fisher, who went overboard over 24 hours ago and is now presumed lost at sea, given the cold temperatures and rough sea conditions.

“As you can imagine, the Scallywag crew is very shocked, they are very distressed, and our focus at the moment is getting the boat safely to Chile,” said Race Director Phil Lawrence. “They are in bad weather conditions and we are sorting out a routing for them that will keep them safe and get them to port.

Scallywag is forecast to make landfall in approximately four days time, after which the team will be debriefed to understand the facts surrounding the loss of Fisher. There has been no mention what the team’s plans are after that.

Race veteran Bouwe Bekking, the skipper of Team Brunel, who is currently leading the fleet towards Cape Horn, remains deeply shocked by the loss of John Fisher. “Known to us sailors as ‘Fish’, there hasn’t been a moment since we heard that I didn’t wake up thinking about him and made my fear of losing an own crew member even worse. We are riding on the edge over here.

“We are sailing in conditions where at home I would be afraid that the roof tiles will be blown off the house. And yes, we got caught out as well. Early this morning we had a squall of 54 knots, the gennaker was still up, managing to keep the boat on its feet, but with a heart rate of 190.

“The squalls are numerous. This afternoon a black cloud all of a sudden gave us 65 knots – and yes we had a massive wipe-out. Luckily everybody was lined on. As it was at watch change we had two people fully dressed to help furl the gennaker and off we were again with the three reefs in the main and small staysail, still doing 25+ boat speed. The water surface was a complete whiteout. Scary, yes, but fascinating.

“Not much sleep for everybody as we are running full standby watches, which means an hour after your watch in your sailing gear and then two hours in your bunk, followed by one hour before your next watch. We are looking forward to some normal sailing, without squalls, so we can get some sleep!”

The six boats still racing in Leg 7 are expected to round Cape Horn by March 29 (UTC).


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), 2679.6 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 57.5 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 62.2 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 70.0 nm DTL
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 82.7 nm DTL
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 92.0 nm DTL
* Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; SR – Suspended
* Team is re-routing to Chilean port following loss of crew John Fisher

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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