Volvo Ocean Race: This is getting crazy
Published on June 24th, 2018
(June 24, 2018; Day 4) – It is very likely that the decision that will win or lose this Volvo Ocean Race has already been made.
Last night, a split developed among the three boats competing for the overall win in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 – MAPFRE, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team.
The finishing order for these three boats on this final leg of the race will determine their position on the overall race podium.
Charles Caudrelier’s Chinese-flagged Dongfeng Race Team made a bold call to hug the coast, taking the eastern option
“We’ve chosen the path inshore,” said watch captain Stu Bannytyne. “So there is a lot of very tricky navigation. There are a lot of sandbanks, Traffic Separation Schemes, maybe some windfarms and very changeable weather.”
This route has cost the team on the leg leaderboard in the short term. But the possible payoff could come later on Sunday.
With the wind forecast to ease significantly offshore, the dividends of the coastal route may come on the approach to the finish, where the inshore boats hold the breeze and their speed for longer.
Team Brunel, along with the current leg leader, team AkzoNobel, committed to the offshore route early.
“We just need to find some good speed and get to Holland,” said Team Brunel helmsman Peter Burling. His team had to overcome a small breakage on an outrigger last night, which cost them a bit of distance.
MAPFRE appeared to make a late call to join them and it cost the Spanish crew. Needing to sail a slower angle to get further west, last night’s race leader slid back in the rankings behind the Dutch boats.
“We were lining up to go on the inside, down Germany and the top of Holland, and made a late call to go west – and as a result we lost quite a lot on Brunel and team AkzoNobel who decided to go this way earlier,” said MAPFRE’s Blair Tuke.
“It’s a tricky one but we have to do what we think is right to get us there the fastest. Both boats we have to beat are going different ways. We’re going to have to fight to the end. There’s going to be a compression as we come into the finish, so plenty still to play for. Glad we’re still here and in the fight.”
As at 0800 UTC on Sunday morning, the positions are clear, but far from decisive.
Simeon Tienpont’s team AkzoNobel is gunning for the leg win, but just 0.1 miles ahead of Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel. And Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE is just half a mile further back. Vestas 11th Hour Racing is with the offshore group as well, just four miles back.
Looking at the Live Tracker, the boats in the east appear to be in trouble, nearly 50 miles back. But in reality, the gap in terms of sailing distance is more like 18 miles. And weather routing software suggests the difference at the finish might be as little as 15 minutes. The fact is, the race is far from over.
Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic and David Witt’s SHK/Scallywag took the coastal option approximately 10 miles behind Dongfeng. Caffari’s team currently has a two mile margin over the Scallywags, which could draw them level on the leaderboard. If that happens, the In Port Race Series will be the tie-break, with the final race on June 30
The current ETA predicts the leaders will arrive this afternoon between 1500 and 1700 UTC – late afternoon local time in The Hague.
The race course for Leg 11 was revised prior to the start, adjusting the length to 963.4nm to ensure fan-friendly arrival times along the route and finish.
After the start on June 21, the boats were sent west out of the islets dotting the entrance to Gothenburg before turning north to head to a turning mark just off the coast of Norway. Then, it’s a dive south to round a mark near the Danish city of Aarhus, followed by a return north around the top of Denmark before racing south to The Hague to the finish on June 24.
For crew list… click here.
Race details – Tracker – Scoreboard – Race route – Facebook – YouTube
Leg 11 – Position Report (08:00 UTC)
1. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 62.7 nm DTF
2. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 0.1 nm DTL
3. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 0.6 nm DTL
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 4.7 nm DTL
5. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 49.6 nm DTL
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 56.6 nm DTL
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 58.6 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead
Overall Results (after 10 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 65 points
2. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 65
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 64*
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 53
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 38
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 30
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 29
* One additional point will be awarded to the team with the best elapsed time at the conclusion of the race in The Hague. Currently, Dongfeng would win this point.
NOTE: The In-Port Race Series is a separate event, but should there be a tie on the overall race leaderboard at the end of the offshore legs, the In-Port Race Series standings will be used to break the tie.
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