Volvo Ocean Race: Not done yet
Published on May 6th, 2018
(May 6, 2018; Day 14) – After two days which saw the easterly trades clock to near south, the Volvo Ocean Race teams made the gybe to port today to begin the final approach toward the Leg 8 finish in Newport, USA.
Team Brunel continue to hold the lead as the fleet points their bows to the northwest with Bermuda dead astern. Current predictions are for top six teams to arrive within six hours of one another, between midnight and 0600 UTC on May 8 (2000 to 0200 local time on May 7-8 in Newport).
Brunel, which had been getting reeled as they were fist to feel the effect of the Bermuda High, now is the fastest among the fleet as they broad reach at 20+ knots. “The ‘bleeding’ compared to Dongfeng has stopped,” reports Bekking. “The closest they got to us was 2.6 miles, we could read the sign writing on their sails.”
Looking forward, the fleet will have to contend with a cold front harbouring winds of more than 35 knots, before facing a tricky transition into north-easterly breeze.
It means the Leg 8 podium could well be decided in the final 24 hours – and every moment up until that point could have its consequences.
“The truth is that there is still a lot to come,” said Xabi Fernández, skipper of fifth-placed MAPFRE. “We have a low pressure coming with plenty of wind downwind where we will need to push all we’ve got, and then we have to cross a front to get to NE winds which will be challenging and pretty cold I’m sure.”
For crew lists… click here.
Leg 8 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 462.0 nm DTF
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 10.1 nm DTL
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 33.2 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 39.5 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 45.8 nm DTL
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 82.4 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 157.6 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