Volvo Ocean Race: Nothing in it

Published on May 28th, 2018

(May 28, 2018; Day 9) – Less than a mile separated Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9 frontrunners Team Brunel and team Akzonobel today as the teams have under 40 miles to the finish.

After almost eight days of intense racing across the Atlantic from Newport, USA, to Cardiff, Wales, the leading pair were today neck and neck.

With winds dropping to under ten knots, an anxious, slow-motion finish is on the cards for Leg 9 as the teams try to pick out the quickest route to Cardiff, with at least four teams in play for the leg win.

While the lack of breeze isn’t helping, the real challenge will be to navigate the tidal current the fleet will encounter in the Bristol Channel.

If a team is fortunate enough to arrive in the channel at the right time they could be rocketed towards the finish line. If they get unlucky they could face up to six knots of adverse current sweeping them back out to sea.

It makes for a tense time for the sailors but especially the navigators, tasked with directing their crews through the tactical minefield.

At the front of the fleet, veteran Volvo Ocean Race navigators Andrew Cape (Brunel) and Jules Salter (Akzonobel) were preparing to face off for Leg 9 glory.

“We’re into the last 24 hours and neck and neck with Brunel,” AkzoNobel’s Emily Nagel said.

“The wind is going to be up and down, there will be plenty of tacks and we’re not going to get much sleep. It’s going to be a real tactical battle, especially for Jules.”

While Dongfeng remain in touch with the leaders, their move to the north of the channel has them falling off the pace held by the leaders on the south side of the channel. Splitting the difference is Vestas, which may help them pass one of the sides or lose out to both.

The latest ETAs see the leading pair arriving after 0200 UTC tomorrow with the remaining boats arriving throughout the day.


For crew lists… click here.

COURSE: Starting on May 20, Leg 9 takes the fleet from Newport, USA to Cardiff, Wales. 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 9 is 3300nm whereas the actual distance from the tracker is 2878.4nm.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 9 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 38.9 nm DTF
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), .5 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 18.8 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 68.9 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 108.6 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 93.8 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 225.2 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

Overall Results (after 8 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 53 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 50
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 42
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 36
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 28
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 27
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 22

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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