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Home > Daily News > Volvo Ocean Race: Epic Split In Atlantic

Volvo Ocean Race: Epic Split In Atlantic

(May 22, 2018; Day 3) – Skipper Bouwe Bekking and his Team Brunel lead a southerly group that includes Vestas, AkzoNobel, and Scallywag who are taking advantage of stronger winds to open up an advantage as a split develops in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on this transatlantic leg.

To the north, wallowing in lighter conditions sit the overall race leaders, MAPFRE, as well as second-placed Dongfeng and Turn the Tide on Plastic. Meanwhile, the southerly quartet has been doing double-speed.

“As expected there is a big split in the fleet, so it will be interesting to see who comes out ahead in five days time,” said Bekking. “We have always more breeze than the forecast while the boats in the north follow the great circle, the shorter route but with lighter winds though should have a little better current from the Gulf Stream. I think they will be alright in the long run. We’ve seen that before in transatlantics. We will also have to face the lighter winds and even have to tack tomorrow.”

The gap between the two groups is over 200nm, which as MAPFRE’s Blair Tuke notes is massive leverage. “It’s a little bit of a worry that Brunel has so much separation from us. It could work out well for us but it might not… It’s one of those things where you have to sail the wind you’ve got. We’ve done that and we’ll have to see how it plays out through this transition as the new breeze comes in over the next day or so.”

As reporter Sam Greenfield notes from onboard Brunel, they have equal concern. “No one is celebrating… the leg routing is massively complicated. There’s a silent concern that Mapfre and Dongfeng could win the lottery and smash the leg.”

For all the fleet, the conditions have been more pleasant than anticipated, with the Gulf Stream providing warm temperatures to make life on board more comfortable.

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. The ETA for the leg is in the eight to nine day range.

Leg 9 – Position Report (19:01 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 2292.1 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 5.5 nm DTL
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 6.3 nm DTL
4. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 41.8 nm DTL
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 44.0 nm DTL
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 62.3 nm DTL
7. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 64.2 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

Source: https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2018/05/22/volvo-ocean-race-epic-split-atlantic/