Volvo Ocean Race: Good wind, Bad weed

Published on May 1st, 2018

(May 1, 2018; Day 9) – Team Brunel was the first in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to escape from a mild Doldrums crossing and is now leading the fleet in reaching conditions towards Newport, Rhode Island. Now in the northeast trade winds, Brunel leads the charge at nearly 20 knots, extending a narrow lead out to double digits.

But now there is a new hazard for the fleet to deal with: huge clumps of seaweed floating on and just below the surface.

“Sometimes, especially at night, you can go from doing 18 knots, all of sudden down to 12 knots,” reports Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking. “Quick action is needed to get rid of the weed around the rudders, keel, daggerboard and the sail drive. We have a good trick, but I’m not sharing this right now as it seems we did alright during the night and made some gains, so probably we’re sailing with less weed stuck to us.”

The routing has the teams at a course of 300°, with the tracks of the top four teams seperated by 50 miles – Dongfeng Race Team as the furthest west and Vestas 11th Hour Race as the furthest east.

“We just got out from the Doldrums and we are in good shape at the west of the fleet, behind the leader Brunel, but we are going fully west,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “There are still a lot of traps in front of us on the way to Newport but we are in a good position to attack and will try to come back to potentially win our first leg which would obviously be something great for the team.”

With the teams now through the Doldrums and into the trade winds, Race Control has issued a preliminary ETA into Newport for the afternoon of May 8 (UTC). Still a week away, this can be expected to change, and will be updated before the end of the week.

For crew lists… click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 8 – Position Report (19:09 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 2668.0 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 10.5 nm DTL
3. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 16.3 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 35.5 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 67.9 nm DTL
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 91.1 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 180.3 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

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