Volvo Ocean Race: The pecking order
Published on April 25th, 2018
(April 25, 2018; Day 3) – How do you know there is a pecking order in the Volvo Ocean Race? When the top four teams on the overall leaderboard allow the bottom three teams to get leverage on the upwind leg along the Brazilian coast and cash that in to lead Leg 8 to Newport, USA.
Earlier in the day it was Turn the Tide on Plastic and Vestas 11th Hour Racing that had blitzed to the head of the fleet by capitalizing on their easterly position as the fleet approached an oil field exclusion zone 100 miles off Rio’s coast, enabling them to continue make headway north for longer while their rivals were forced to tack.
Then when these top two teams sought to consolidate their position and cover the fleet on port, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was allowed to split and now leads.
That the bottom three overall teams lead Leg 8 is more a reflection of how they are not presently a priority rather than indicating their performance progress as a team.
With all the teams now on a starboard tack in the northeasterly trade, once they get past the Exclusion Zone the course frees up a little to make it more straight-line sailing north. So no one wanted to sail further offshore on port tack to get past the EZ than they had to… and the Scallywags were the first to jump the fleet back to starboard and now into the lead.
Their next waypoint is Natal, the northeast corner of Brazil (and South America), 1000 nm ahead. Once past that, there’ll be a prayer in their approach to the Doldrums, which is expected to be kind as they progress across the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf Stream.
For crew lists… click here.
Leg 8 – Position Report (20:24 UTC)
1. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 4502.1 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 12.2 nm DTL
3. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 12.4 nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 16.7 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 16.8 nm DTL
6. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 18.8 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 21.1 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead
COURSE: Starting on April 22, Leg 8 takes the teams from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, USA. 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 organizers say Leg 8 is 5700 nm whereas the actual distance from the tracker is 5027 nm.
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