Volvo Ocean Race: Crossing the Equator
Published on April 30th, 2018
(April 30, 2018; Day 8) – Vestas 11th Hour Racing led the Volvo Ocean Race fleet into the northern hemisphere today, crossing the Equator at 10:39:40 UTC followed closely by Team Brunel and Turn the Tide on Plastic.
It is the last time the teams will have to cross the Equator – and deal with the dreaded Doldrums – in this edition of the race as the remaining legs all take place in the northern hemisphere.
Traditionally crossing the Doldrums – an ever-changing band of low pressure characterised by fickle winds and thunderstorms – in the west means a relatively unhindered passage, and compared to the previous crossings in this race, this experience has been relatively benign.
And the fickleness was unkind to Vestas, dropping down the rank with the lead now in the hands of the Plastic team. The top four are all within 2 miles of each other.
While pleased with their position, Plastic skipper Dee Caffari reports a new issue among the fleet. “Today was saw our first sighting of the infamous Sargasso weed. We shall see if that will be our next challenge following the Doldrums.”
Spanish crew MAPFRE were slowed temporarily after discovering an electrical problem that left them with no power on board. The team is now up to full speed having replaced a main battery fuse. But after jury-rigging a solution to move the keel, the team does not have the capability to control the movement from on deck.
“The fact that we have to use this system for the keel is tough because it means that one of us has to be below with the switch to manage the keel,” said Ñeti Cuervas-Mons.
“The person driving can no longer move it from up on deck. When we have to tack or gybe a lot, or when there is a lot of boat handling it is going to be problematic because we are one person down on deck, and whoever is driving cannot control it either…”
For crew lists… click here.
Race details – Tracker – Scoreboard – Race route – Facebook – YouTube
Leg 8 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 3052.8 nm DTF
2. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 0.6 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 1.8 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 1.8 nm DTL
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 21.3 nm DTL
6. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 38.8 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 66.3 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