Volvo Ocean Race: Haves and Have nots

Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking

It’s tough for the three boats at the back of the Volvo Ocean Race, trying to catch up with the leaders. The distance is increasing with every position report – or sched, as the sailors call it. These three back runners have been sailing in less wind all day.

“Little love, these clouds,” reports Amory Ross on Team Alvimedica. “We were going nowhere for a long, long time. A couple of the guys went swimming but otherwise we just sat around looking at the windless horizon, devoid of detail in every direction.”

At the front of the pack, Team Brunel is enjoying the lead they took this morning. With Dongfeng alongside, both teams progress upwind, heading northwest with a stable wind direction (50º-60º), recording wind speeds of 12 knots.

“We’ve had a good night with big gains and we’re in the lead now,” says Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking. “But nothing is decided yet. There will be big gains and big losses to make in the last part of the race.”

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 40 nm to the west, is now to leeward and covered by the leaders, a position they were not expecting to be in. They were expecting their position would benefit from the forecast, but instead they have been bleeding mileage all day to the leaders.

“I suspect we’re going to lose out in the coming days so we just need to be sure we don’t lose too much,” note Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker. “Once we get off Oman, I think it could get pretty crazy so we just need to be sure we’re in touch at that point, if not ahead.”

The weather forecast for the next 24 hours? The wind speed will remain around 10 knots. The back of the fleet will still suffer from lighter winds, with the spread of the fleet due to increase even more.

Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 1176.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 4.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 10.7 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 246.8 nm DTL
5. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 268.1 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 347.6 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing


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