• Slow Motion Prologue

    The images of Volvo Ocean Race boats in near calm conditions during the first 24-hours of the Prologue leg from
    Lisbon to Alicante may give the impression of a relaxing cruise down the coast to the gates of the Mediterranean.


    images courtesy various OBRs CLICKY

    The reality is the contrary. Light, variable conditions are a nightmare for the sailors, who end up agonising over
    every tack or gybe in search of each little zephyr. Sails are adjusted, course corrections are a constant, and eyes
    strain at the horizon looking for any sign of a change.

    During the first 24 hours of the Prologue, a critical decision faced the teams.

    “There was a big choice to make at the end of the night,” explained Jérémie Beyou on Dongfeng Racing Team.
    “Do you stay offshore like we did, or do you try to escape the light air by the coast?”

    The early returns are decidedly in favour of the coastal route, with MAPFRE and Team Brunel marching out to
    a 40-plus mile lead over the rest of the fleet who stayed 30 miles further west.

    But the entire fleet now needs to navigate past another big light patch, before finding stronger conditions near Gibraltar.

    “It’s going to be a long one,” said a frustrated Liz Wardley from Turn the Tide on Plastic, noting it would normally
    take about three days to complete the leg.

    Her boat was trailing the fleet on the Monday afternoon position report, but making twice the speed of the four boats
    immediately in front, so there is still plenty of opportunities as we head into the second night at sea.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race started by Photoboy View original post