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Volvo Ocean Race: The end is near

Published on April 2nd, 2018

(April 2, 2018; Day 16) – Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking is predicting a photo finish to Leg 7 as his Team Brunel leads Dongfeng Race Team into the final night of what has been a massively challenging leg.

Less than seven miles separate the two boats now, and with 270 miles to the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil, Bekking says they are only going to get closer.

“The good news is that we have been eating the miles towards the finish quickly,” said Bekking. “Over the last five hours we averaged just under 24 knots!

“You think you will be making big gains but no, only two miles on Dongfeng. They are pushing hard for the oh-so-important difference of the three extra points gained by coming first in this leg.

“You’d think we would have a healthy lead, but the bungee cord gets shorter again, in fact it doesn’t exist anymore, as the routing has the two of us finishing within a minute!!

Aside from a small window where Dongfeng passed them temporarily 36 hours ago, Brunel have led Leg 7 for more than 3,000 miles through the South Pacific and into the South Atlantic.

Team AkzoNobel remain in a comfortable third place while the back markers were today both trying to escape the clutches of the high pressure system, whose light winds are slowing their progress towards Itajaí.

Both teams have suffered significant damages on this leg – MAPFRE’s main track was damaged early in the leg and their mainsail was ripped in two rounding Cape Horn, while Turn the Tide on Plastic’s mast was in jeopardy due to an issue with a spreader.

The ETA for the leading pair is as early as 1500 UTC tomorrow (Tuesday), although a localised area of light winds in the finish area could push that back by several hours. Team AkzoNobel is forecast to finish 36 hours later, with the trailing pair not arriving until the weekend.

Team SHK/Scallywag continues its progress towards making landfall on the coast of Chile, while Vestas 11th Hour Racing, after leaving the Falkland Islands yesterday for Itajai, were forced to return today due to a mechanical issue that needed assessment and repair.

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 (19:27 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 272.9 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 7.1 nm DTL
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 238.6 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 563.6 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 647.5 nm DTL
RET. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
RET. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; RET – Retired

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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