• Doldrums Await

    Fleet expected to compress further on final approach to Doldrums


    With just 30 miles separating first from fifth, the fleet is expected to compress even further with Doldrums coming into play...

    With the fleet approaching the latitudes of the Doldrums, speeds are expected to drop and indeed the leading boat, Dongfeng, was down to 12 knots of speed on the 13:00 UTC position report.

    Boats just 10 miles further back were making closer to 20 knots. So a compression in the fleet is expected. But it may not be as severe as it often is. This Doldrums crossing is forecast to be relatively quick. Good news for the leading pack with the boats grouped so close together.

    “There is still so much to go in this leg. We are 10 miles behind Dongfeng and we have Vestas and AkzoNobel right behind us… it’s nothing,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. “We would like to keep the distance close. Everyone is happy and we know we have a hard fight with these guys.”

    “We are in a tough part of the race, I think. It’s been just about speed for about three days,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “Life is not easy on board. It’s very wet and warm and it’s going to be like this for a few days.”

    But the weather is providing some relief. The strong rain showers are not just an opportunity to cool off, but also to get a fresh water shower. A luxury that doesn’t happen very frequently on a 20-plus day leg.

    Leg 2 – Position Report – Friday 11 November (Day 7) – 13:00 UTC

    1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish – 4,093.7 nautical miles
    2. MAPFRE +9.8
    3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +11.9
    4. team AkzoNobel +25.0
    5. Team Brunel +30.2
    6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +88.7
    7. Turn the Tide on Plastic +115.2

    Blog in from Brunel OBR Rich Edwards...

    Wild 'n Wet on the Yellow boat this morning. I can't recall a moment where we haven't been hitting over 20 knots of boatspeed during daylight hours. The crew are in good spirits after an encouraging 0700 sched report so remain highly optimistic of catching those in front. Ever since falling behind early in the race, this team have mirrored Skipper Bouwe Bekking's pragmatic and methodical approach, with Kyle Langford this morning saying,

    "The last 2-3 days we've had the boat set-up well and [we've] been doing a bit better than the guys around us. We're definitely within range [and whilst] we'd prefer to be in front, we're still in with a fighting shot here."

    With the doldrums imminent the wind appears relatively kind, although almost certainly the fleet will be compressed, but as Annie Lush reminded me yesterday, "first in usually means first out." We'll see what we can learn from those first into the void."

    [LIFE ON BOARD] Xabi Fernández: "15 degrees North and going South between 16-20 knots of boat speed with an amazing weather… this cannot get much better to be honest"
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race started by Photoboy View original post