Harken Derm

Volvo Ocean Race: Making the turn

Published on March 29th, 2018

(March 29, 2018; Day 12) – Skipper Bouwe Bekking and navigator Andrew Cape have used their veteran nous to sail Team Brunel past Cape Horn at the head of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. Bekking and his team passed the famed Cape at 13:01 UTC (provisional) today and earn one point on the leaderboard for being first past the Horn.

But even with a successful passage from the Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean, Bekking said the mood on board during the approach to Cape Horn was subdued.

“The crew is very, very, very tired,” he said. “Even though we are leading, there is no ‘hurray’ feeling on board… The loss of John (Fisher on Scallywag) is sitting way deeper than people like to admit: I think of him several times in an hour.”

Chasing Team Brunel to Cape Horn is a group of five boats led by Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

“I can speak for everyone on board to say we’re all really, really looking forward to getting there,” said navigator Simon Fisher.

“It’s the hardest of the great Capes to take on and this has probably been the toughest Southern Ocean leg on record for quite some time. I’m on my fifth race now and I don’t remember one as hard. As usual it’s blowing about 35-40 knots, so really, there’s just been no let up in the last week and half to these conditions…

“We’re certainly taking stock to think about what it means to get around Cape Horn and also to pause and think about John and the Scallywag guys who have been through a terrible ordeal and this will be a good moment to pay our respect to them.”

Dee Caffari has taken a crew of novices across two Southern Ocean legs and today finds herself in the hunt with the group of boats chasing Team Brunel.

“It’s a bit like a proud mum moment,” she said, talking about what it means to her to have shepherded her crew to Cape Horn.

“This has been the furthest south most of them have ever been. I’ve got six people who had never been in the Southern Ocean before this race who are about to round Cape Horn, which not many people get to do.

“But the tragic news we’ve had this week… it’s made us all realise how vulnerable we are down here, how hostile the environment is down here, and how quickly things can go bad, and how we’ve all lost a friend. That’s affected everyone quite deeply.

“So we’re saying that this rounding is definitely for Fish.”

As the fleet races around Cape Horn, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag continue to make progress towards the west coast Chile, with landfall anticipated early next week.


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 (13:00 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 1940.6 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 35.1 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 49.0 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 72.7 nm DTL
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 81.4 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 86.8 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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