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Thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #191
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Team Vestas Wind looks at new boat option

    ABU DHABI, December 8 - Team Vestas Wind is ‘exploring the opportunity’ of re-entering the Volvo Ocean Race with a new boat just over a week after their Volvo Ocean 65 ran into a reef in the Indian Ocean..

    With their crew now safely on land, attention has turned to retrieving the stricken vessel, grounded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals (St Brandon), some 260 miles north east of Mauritius - and whether the Danish team will return to the race.

    “It is Vestas’ clear ambition to get Team Vestas Wind out sailing again,” said the sailing team’s CEO Morten Albćk, at a press call in Abu Dhabi. “We’ll do everything within our means to make that happen.

    “That said, the assessment from all parties is that the boat can’t be repaired, and therefore one of the options we’re looking into is building a new boat,” added Albćk, who is also title sponsors Vestas’ Chief Marketing Officer.

    “Whether that can be done, and done in a time which is meaningful for Team Vestas Wind to re-enter the race, is still to be concluded.

    “We’re working closely together with Volvo Ocean Race on exploring that opportunity.”

    Skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS), who led his crew in an early hours evacuation from the boat on November 29, and on to the remote island of Íle du Sud, where they remained for the next 48 hours before hitching a ride to Mauritius on a local fishing boat, echoed those hopes.


    “Prior to the crash in the preceding 48 hours, Wouter and I in regard to our normal duties of looking where the boat was going with the routing, noticed that there would be some seamounts. When I saw those I asked what the depths and the currents and the wave conditions would be.

    “Wouter’s reply was that the depths went from 3000m to 40m, (which) were the extremes of the depths, the current was negligible and we would monitor the wave state as we approached...”

    Team Vestas Wind navigator Wouter Verbraak (NED) explained the reason for the accident to the media:

    “In hindsight we would’ve continued to zoom in on the area much more, on the electronic charts. Not doing so is the big mistake that I made, but the good thing is that we didn’t make any more.”

    The incident happened around the midway point of the 5,200 nautical mile Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi of the nine-month round-the-world race which finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 27 next year.


    It is Australian Nicholson’s fifth Volvo Ocean Race, and he and the rest of the crew have been debriefed by team and race officials over the weekend in Abu Dhabi and will shortly return home to their individual countries.

    Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad explained that, for the damaged boat, the recovery operation is still ongoing, and the parties involved are working together to bring about a swift resolution.

    “We’re all making our absolute best efforts to do what is right. We have a very clear mission on this and that is to make sure that the absolute minimum impact is done to the environment.

    “The plan is to remove the boat, either in its current form, or in a different form. We’re working on this right now, trying to make it happen as quickly as possible.

    “Our next objective is to learn from this, and support Vestas, Powerhouse, and the team in their efforts to have a future in the race.

    “I must underline that that is no small challenge. I don’t want anyone to have expectations that this will easily happen; it’s an enormous challenge.

    “But the Volvo Ocean Race is all about enormous challenges - and here is another one.”

    Patrick Lammers, a member of retail board RWE, said on behalf of sub-sponsors Powerhouse: “We are seeking opportunities to return to the race as soon as possible. In what form, and when, is impossible to say at this time, but all options are seriously considered.”

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  2. #192
    Doesn't sound like Team Vesta's Wind will get a new boat very soon. Maybe in time for Auckland start?

  3. #193
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    Light's Not Right

    Time presses on and as the world has been focusing on the tragedy which was the Team Vesta's Wind grounding, the remaining boat have slowly but surely made their way north towards the ever distant Abu Dhabi. Here are some of the most recent posts from the boats:


    Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

    To quote Big Bird, “Today is brought you by the letter ‘S’ for the word ‘Shifty.’” That’s the best way to describe the last 24 hours: shifty. This is specifically in reference to the wind out here in the Indian Ocean.

    Shifty wind is just that: wind that shifts. All day long, the helmswoman keeps saying: “it’s really shifty.” Annie explained that you’ll be steering to 60 degrees wind angle and the sails will be trimmed to this angle as well. Then, the wind will shift and you’re helming off course and with bad trim—so you slow down.

    It’s almost like driving down a road and all of a sudden cones start popping up, forcing you to detour your track just slightly. What would take an hour from point A to point B takes a lot longer per result.

    “I’m shocked how shifty the wind is out here. I’m still getting used to it,” Annie said. “Usually you’ll see these types of conditions closer to land as you’re bobbing and weaving coasts and land thermals. It’s strange that it’s happening out here.”

    The strange conditions are per result of the warm air and warm water mixing with the colder air high in the sky. This is why we are seeing massive rain squalls with loads of wind followed by Doldrum conditions with no wind.

    The weather out here is pretty unreal—we’re definitely not in the Atlantic Ocean nor the Southern Ocean. Similar to Leg 1, the majority of this leg should be somewhat predictable in regards to trade winds. However, the tropical ‘storm’ from the other week has really affected the typical wind patterns.

    The trade winds we so badly wanted to catch on to have simply been non-existent. The water is also incredibly flat considering we’re offshore. Sometimes, I’m convinced we’re actually just sailing in a goldfish bowl.

    Needless to say there’s an edge (or shall I say ‘air’) of frustration on board and the shifty conditions do not help. Like the little girl who wants her two front teeth for Christmas, all we want is to get into some proper ‘send it’ conditions. We want conditions where we can unleash the power of our sails and sailors.

    Finally, the shifty conditions are like salt in our position wound. It does not help that we slowly see ourselves slipping further and further behind the leaders. We so badly want to give a proper battle fight with the rest of the fleet, rather than claw.

    “I thought if we could keep it 300nm or under to the leaders I would feel okay,” Dee said. “But now that number is increasing so it’s getting harder and harder.”

    Like Leg 1, the wind just doesn’t seem to want to show up ready to work. It’s as if the wind is distracted—shows up for a bit, does what its supposed to do, then decides that a hot coffee sounds good or maybe a croissant.

    Because of these fluky conditions, we can’t help but feel a bit disheartened. What have we done to the wind for it to show up for the rest of the fleet and not for us?!

    All this said, we’re keeping our heads down—not like an Osteridge and in the sand but more like an Eagle building a nest in the mountains. We’re staying focused and really pulling every inch out of every shift and whisper of wind. Afterall, we are Team SCA—we are a team of strong, hard working, fighting women.

    Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

    “C’mon wind…”, Ian muttered while patiently but intently stared at the red numbers on the mast for the slightest change. His eyes are squinted, not because of the fading sunlight on the horizon but because he’s looking ahead for signs on the water.

    We need a lift – a shift in the wind rotating to the right – to help us gain speed and have a chance at beating Brunel and Dongfeng to the next mark on the course.

    It’s been a battle all day; seemingly bleeding miles to the two teams to windward. Finally, on the latest sked before sunset, the first signs of optimism: we sailed 10 miles further. Ian did his familiar six-or-so trips up and back from the nav station reporting all the details from the position report to all us on deck. This was a good sign in itself; usually if a sked was bad he goes down below and doesn’t come up. We’re on the mend.

    But for how long? Brunel and Dongfeng have wind that is arcing them towards the mark and at a faster angle. There is still plenty of race track left: a reaching drag race to Oman, then the light air winds of the Straight of Hormuz, and finally the unpredictable Arabian Gulf as we close in on Abu Dhabi. But with the last Leg being decided by 15 minutes, and the top three teams again vying for the prize, we can’t afford to bleed any more.

    C’mon wind.

    Matt Knighton/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

    Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

    It feels a bit like an intermission, a TV timeout—a break for commercials. If we could just hit pause to get up and stretch the legs, maybe we’d come back a little more excited. But for the time being it feels like we’re staring through the screen and going through the motions at half speed. With the winds unlikely to build in the remaining week(s), odds are it will stay that way—in a sort of slow motion. Frustrating, for a boat that’s designed to sail at 40 knots, to live for so long at 7.

    Our directive has remained virtually unchanged since leaving Vestas: just get north. Fortunately SCA and Mapfre offer a measure of tactical distraction but the nuances are getting smaller and now that we’re [hopefully] clear of the doldrums the options shrink still. We have some leverage on Mapfre well to the east and there is an opportunity to gain a place there, but unless things change drastically in the Persian Gulf, the leaders are out of reach.

    We’ve got plenty of food, no shortage of stories and soon enough we’ll get to a more interesting stretch of water with headlands, traffic, and scenery; that will help speed things up a little. For now we’re trying to stay patient and entertained, and trying to stay out of the sun. But the abundant downtime has Christmas, families, and a possible trip home for the holidays weighing heavy on our minds!

    Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race

    The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

    In Team Brunel’s cockpit is a small black box. The screen shows different sorts of information. Boat speed, wind direction, AND, the exact distance to the competitors, 5.8. “That means that we are 5.8 nautical miles ahead of Dongfeng Race Team! YEAH,"says Gerd-Jan Poortman.

    The distance to Dongfeng has already been the source of many bets for a few days onboard. "For a packet of biscuits, we bet that in the next two hours we will sail 0.5nm away from Dongfeng."

    And so it began. Consequently, the Fruitella Candy Bars, the cookies and the chocolate mouses left the food bags.

    Whether it’s a coincidence or not, the team has been in an excellent position. We’ve got to sail another 1,00nm though, closely followed by the Chinese.

    Bouwe Bekking is beaming at the thought of a victory, but he warns: "We will pass through the Strait of Hormuz just before arriving in Abu Dhabi. It’s a piece of water surrounded by high mountains. Do you already role the dice? It may be the most difficult part of this leg."

    On deck, the boys are in a happy mode. "5.8nm... I bet that it’ll be 7 at the end of the day," laughs Pablo Arrarte. The chocolate biscuits distributed on deck make for an euphoric mood. "We are on fire."

    Abu Dhabi is in sight. But let's hope that the bottom of the food bag still remains out of sight for now!

    Stefan Coppers/Team Brunel/Volvo Ocean Race

    Matt Knighton/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
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  4. #194
    Why is everybody calling the Vestas deal a tragedy? If nobody got hurt its just a crash. LSC was a tragedy...

    Looks like the 'merican boat is making a strong push back into the fleet.
    Pointing like a traffic cop, footin like a track star.

  5. #195
    Headed Offshore
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    The hype for the Volvo Ocean Race is unceasing! I've given up on "Scuttlebutt" since half of each issue is just a reprint of the PR shills for the race. Now crews are starving to death, fighting over the last crumb of freeze dry or sweltering in an airless box on the edge of dehydration. But back to "tragedy." As a retired "Engish teacher" guy, the difference between "tragedy" and "disaster" is pretty much a matter of degree today. The etymology of each word of course derives from Latin. Originally a tragedy was (in simple terms) a play that ended when everyone died - as opposed to a comedy where everyone got married and died an even slower death. Originally disaster was an unfavorable aspect of a planet, moon, star that caused famine, plague, another Kardashian to be born.

    In today's common usage, a "disaster" is an event that brings about great damage, loss, destruction, and possibly as a side note, a few deaths. A "tragedy" on the other hand almost always involves death. In today's news it was a tragedy when that private jet hit the house, killing the mother and her two sons, as well as the three souls on board the plane. A disaster will be the flooding from tomorrow's Bay Area storm which will cause widespread problems and monetary loss. One or two speeding, aqua-planing drivers may die as well, but the storm will hardly be classed as a tragedy. Unless the Volvo race PR team is doing double duty and writing local new stories for the news reader/heads to read at 6:00.

    Probably, however, the Vestas grounding doesn't rise to either of these definitions.

  6. #196
    What's the English root for "fuk up of epic proportions"?

    With all the technology available these days why doesn't the chart plotter sound an alarm when your course averages directly at a reef? The data was in the system...
    Pointing like a traffic cop, footin like a track star.

  7. #197
    We need more major f$%k-ups to keep the race interesting. Far too many miles in boring conditions just to please the sponsoring ports.

    Else the whole race becomes a tragedy.

  8. #198

    Life At The Extreme: Into The Wild

    It’s only the beginning of the leg and already big decisions are needed. For the teams picking the right moment to gybe north into the Indian Ocean is crucial. For Alvimedica, it’s also time to touch base with some of their younger fan while some of the other teams are using some of the light wind patch to prep and repair their rigs for what’s to come. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  9. #199
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    Approaching Abu Dhabi


    What: still leading
    Where: Strait of Hormuz
    How much distance with number 2: It changes every 15 minutes… a mile
    What are we doing: Tacking and chasing small puffs
    Record without sleep: Capey, now for two days
    Record of coffee drinking: Capey, now leading with 16 cups in 48 hours
    Are we gonna win this race Capey: “Yes, I can feel it”

    "Krijg toch allemaal de kolere"

    The “Strait of Hormuz” is like Schiphol air zone in the Dutch polder after a long flight. Just when you think you are nearly there… you’re way off.

    The Volvo Ocean Race boats are moving towards their goal – Abu Dhabi. But with the port in sight, the speed drops and a bloody long way remains until you’re on the taxiway.

    The smell of waterpipe and freshly cooked sheep is in the air. If only we’d have a little breeze to bring it to us.

    "Come on Huey, give us some breeze". Bekking even asks the God of Wind to help out! Team Brunel’s sails are flapping helplessly, looking for wind.

    At the bow, Johnny Poortman starts singing "krijg toch allemaal de kolere" (which means something like ”why don’t you all go to hell”). He means every word. Luckily for us, our Siamese twin Dongfeng is in the same boat. They’re still hot on our heels.

    And then the big sails of Team Brunel catch the wind. The yellow Volvo Ocean 65 immediately carves the glassy water at nine knots… for about three minutes. The Dutch team is back in the parking mode.

    "It’s been like this for days”, says Poortman. “Run and stop.” The flat sea shows small wrinkles here and there. Who grabs the most wrinkles will be the winner of this exciting leg. Dongfeng misses out on a little gust of wind and are instantly 1.5 mile behind.

    The Chinese tack. Team Brunel responds instantly and tacks along. The risk of a “private wrinkle” for Dongfeng is too big. Hoopla, everybody out of bed. Rokas Milevicius is on the grinder in his boxer. "It’s not just about being there,” says the Lithuanian, “we’ve been on our way for 21 days and now we want to win!”

    Poortman: "I would get so sick if we lost it now because of missing one small shift.” And again we hear Johnny sing on the front deck… "Krijg toch allemaal de kolere."

    December 12, 2014 Stefan Coppers OBR, Team Brunel

    Flat sea and three knots of wind….

    It started with: “Everybody on deck!”

    Everyone came out. And it was totally worth it, for we witnessed a surreal scene. After 24 days of racing, Brunel, our Leg 2 partner, is crossing only a few lengths ahead of us…

    They seem to have a different wind, the two boats being on a parallel, yet opposed, route. A few moments of silence onboard, and we had weighed the situation. We chose to keep sailing on our tack.

    “In this situation, one must be right, and the other is wrong…”

    So we kept sailing in our wind, painfully. After several minutes, Brunel tacked and came to sail two miles windward of us. They’ve got more wind and sail two knots fast. I don’t know how they had foreseen all of this, but they’ve done very well.

    Some long minutes followed, when we could only notice that we were reaching two knots only when they’re flirting with a five-knot boat speed.

    More than two and half times faster… The crew at the chart table announces Brunel’s speed on a regular basis 4.2 knots, 4.5 knots, 4.8 knots…

    Will you shut up?

    Have a nice day.

    Yann Riou OBR, Dongfeng Race Team

    Yesterday night we caught sight of Team Alvimedica to starboard and just a few miles ahead of us. 14 days after we saw the last boat this was a morale booster and we think we can turn the situation around.

    But it won’t be easy, for conditions are really difficult to predict and Will Oxley is a very experienced navigator who knows where to put his boat.

    We had light winds over the night and peeled from MH0 to A3 to MH0 at dawn. The plancton (I believe it’s such) in this area is really bright and nice to see, especially on a moonless night, which caused it to shine even more than normal.

    We could see schools of fish swimming underneath and leaving a phosphorescent trail behind, and even the flying fish would draw nice shiny shapes in the water. I’ve tried to capture it but it’s technically impossible.

    I’ll figure out how to do it for this is one of the best shows mother nature delivers at sea. Dawn was spectacular, I think I took one of my best dawn pictures ever, looks like a painting as a matter of fact.

    Close to the coast of Oman we waited for the sea breeze to start sailing again. At around 9:00 it should kick in following Jean-Luc. He admits he’s never sailed here before.

    We are stuck right now and we only see some gusts come and go. We are back on the bow, all piled up.

    ˇCome on MAPFRE!

    Francisco Vignale OBR, MAPFRE

    We are stuck in no wind... again. It's like we've run out of gas... again. It would be one thing if this was a first for us but it feels like we've been leapfrogging no wind holes for about 6,000 miles from Cape Town.

    Leap froggingpuffs and shifty breezes in order to get just a little bit closer to what we hope is a magical long lived breeze on the horizon.

    Unfortunately, it never is for us and we are are soon swallowed again by a wind hole. Wind like this would do any sane person's head in!

    "No wind sucks," Carolijn said. "But the weather files say 0.0 knots of wind and we have a bit of heal on at the moment so I guess we shouldn't be complaining too much!"

    The rest of the fleet as paid their dues and worked through this zone so it's been a bit of a mind game. We remain in pressure, they stay stuck in no breeze, and we gain. No wind swallows us, they sneak out of no wind, and they gain... It's an incredibly vicious cycle!

    As we are stuck in this cycle of doom, we can't help but allow our imaginations to get out from under us and we have begun thinking of creative ways to break the cycle and sail past some of the fleet. Ideas include the other VOR65s are abducted by Aliens or they get into a fight with a giant squid. We're also imagining giant hippos stampeding their way over the boats, however that idea doesn't seem logical as we are far from Hippopotamus territory.

    Soon though, after we break out of our vicious no wind cycle, we will arrive in Abu Dhabi, exhausted after a tactically challenging Straits of Hormuz, and hopefully enjoy fresh food like hamburgers, chips, cucumbers, raspberries, and cheesecake.

    We have a few days left of fighting though and are fueled by the fact that today is Twix day - a special day for all of us, especially Sam and Libby. Today, Sam will have to resist the desire to eat her Twix as she might have to hand over her Twix to Libby upon our arrival if we don't arrive on the 15th.

    However, fingers crossed Sam won't hand it over - well unless we arrive on the 14th!

    Corinna Halloran OBR, Team SCA

    So far everything is living up to the hype. Not a hint of wind to be found out here at sunrise, the Gulf a mirror as far as the eye can see. It is exactly what we expected but no less frustrating in actuality.

    This is two legs now that the final 1,000 miles have been dominated by unbearably light air. It doesn’t seem fair, to be so close but so far. Another cruel twist to conclude six thousand miles.

    But holy smokes, what a unique stretch of water. Last night was arguably one of the most visually impressive I have ever spent on a boat. I mean that. From the sunset to the sunrise. Slicing through the sea’s surface the bioluminescence were on fire. It was like the water was plugged in—it was that electric. A Halogen wake.

    Everywhere you looked there was sealife in motion. Even the slightest stir would create an explosion of neon blue, a flying fish dancing along the glassy surface, each footstep aglow, a blossoming ball of squid or fish, visible far underneath the surface, or the dolphins playing under the bow, their shades and stripes aglow to the naked eye with such incredible detail, a torpedo-trail of blue in their wake.

    It felt fake, like some special effects scene from of a big-budget James Cameron film. No one had seen anything like it, not even close. As Nick said—I was “peaking,” excited to finally catch the often-talked about night lights on camera. Phosphorescent and bioluminescence activity is usually far too faint for the sensors of a camera, but not last night.

    Unbelievable. And the stars got their attention, too, shining so bright you could see the reflections on the water at your feet. Then the Omanese mountains to the south at sunrise--large, barren, equally as impressive.

    That’s kind of it in a nutshell. We’re drifting, it’s no fun, Mapfre is visible but we have to assume they’re at a standstill, too. There’s some wind in the short-term forecast, byproduct of a high-pressure system to the north, that should propel us to the Straits where we’ll park-up again for another night of drifting.

    But the view. The experience. For the very short time being, it’s keeping [at least] me distracted just enough to forget that we still have 400 miles to Abu Dhabi!

    Amory Ross OBR, Team Alvimedica

    If you could’ve seen all eight faces on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing when the 1300 position report arrived today you would’ve see sixteen eyes wide open with anxiousness turn into eight broad smiles of elation.

    The tension of the past three days disappeared…we sailed twenty miles further than the leaders and were drawing even to get back in the race! Seriously, people (namely Adil) did a few dance moves on deck.

    After the previous day’s skeds, our routings hadn’t been optimistic -- it seemed increasingly likely we would need a miracle from Mother Nature to survive. However, as the sun came up and we split closer to the Omani coast - that’s exactly what happened.

    Ian, Justin, and Adil were on the bow of Azzam, elbows propped up on the stack of sails staring over the flat water when the wind started to fill in. It was much more than anticipated – 9 knots. You always assume it’s a just a quick gust that soon will die out. This one held for the next 11 hours.

    It was as if Adil had called up the local wind machine. He predicted that at 0900 we would get the sea breeze as we drew closer to shore. Sure enough, we could’ve set our watches to it.

    There were no waves on the water, just sea breeze and a solid gradient from the east shooting us along the glassy waters into dusk. After four hours, the position report showed that we had sailed an average of eleven knots to the others three.

    Now, there’s a magnificent star show out as that strong wind is beginning to soften. Chuny is on the bow doing what looks like a 70’s dance routine communicating sail trim to Daryl at the helm with hand signals.

    Azzam keeps slicing through the water….we’re hoping they’re drifting out there.

    Matt Knighton OBR, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
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  10. #200
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    Bouwe Staves Off Dongfeng For Leg 2 Win

    Two wily old campaigners, Bouwe Bekking and Andrew Cape, picked Dongfeng Race Team’s pocket to edge out the Chinese boat and claim Leg 2 honours for Team Brunel on Saturday morning.

    The pair have 11 previous Volvo Ocean Races behind them and all that experience told in the final stretch of this 5,200 nautical mile, incident-packed stage from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

    We’d all hoped for a race down to the wire as the sun broke on the Emirates and that’s exactly what the two leaders, who had earlier shaken off Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, served up for us.

    It was nick and tuck all the way towards the finish line with first the Dutch, and then the Chinese boat, looking favourite to take the winners’ laurels on a packed Abu Dhabi dock.

    Ariel Images © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

    Finally, Charles Caudrelier looked to have secured the advantage for Dongfeng and his mix of experienced French and rookie Chinese sailors.

    But Bekking and Cape, who chalk up 103 years between them, had one last card to play and they found some timely wind pressure, apparently from nowhere, to streak past Dongfeng and secure a crucial one-mile advantage.

    They never looked liked being caught again and Dongfeng Race Team were once more forced to settle for a narrow second-best, 16 minutes behind Team Brunel after three weeks of tough sailing since the departure in Cape Town on November 19. They had been pipped by 12 minutes by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing on Leg 1.

    The big Dutch skipper, who competed in his first Whitbread Round the World Race back in 1985-86, sported his trademark wide smile as he cruised from the finish line to the dock on a flawless, sun-drenched morning.

    "It is a good feeling," he beamed. "I’ve always said, it’s better to be lucky than good but we’ve been good this leg as well so it’s so nice to win this one because it could have been an easy leg to finish last. It’s just really nice to get the scores but the team did a fantastic job, we sailed the boat much better than in the first leg. So that’s the nicest feeling of all.

    It was certainly not all plain sailing for the winners, though, in this new era of one-design Volvo Ocean 65 sailing.

    "It’s just hard work. In the past you could probably relax a little bit because you had a fast boat but now it’s just full on all the time. When you make a mistake then somebody else gets the advantage.

    "That puts the pressure on a lot, especially the young guys. They sometimes can’t really cope when they lose one or two places when the big wind shift comes or a light puff. But they did a tremendous job as well on this leg. It’s been a good one."

    Caudrelier, in contrast, tried his best but couldn’t conceal his disappointment in a pre-finish call to Race HQ:

    “Brunel have been much faster than us since a few days and we don’t know why. We’re a bit disappointed because we did a good job to pass them, but they keep passing us. You have to do well, but you also have to be fast. If you’re not fast, it’s difficult to win a leg.

    “We’re not so happy (about second). We always want to improve, but for sure it’s good news for Dongfeng. We try to do the leg and try to improve it every leg. We showed that we can play the match with the best, and we’re proud of that.”

    There was plenty of consolation for Dongfeng. The result, with Leg 1 winners Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in third, means that they are joint top of the standings after two stages on four points.

    Team Brunel and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing rank ahead of them, however, because of leg wins achieved with the Dutch crew ahead because they recorded the most recent victory.

    1. Team Brunel finish time: 08:25:20 UTC / Elapsed time: 23d 16h 25m 20s

    2. Dongfeng Race Team finish time 08:41:40 UTC / Elapsed time: 23d 16h 41m 40s

    3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finish time: 11:08:15 UTC / Elapsed time: 23d 19h 8m 15s

    “Hello Abu Dhabi!”

    The local crowd cheers for Ian Walker and his guys.

    Taking third in the Emirati city, the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sailors have come home. It may not the result they were hoping for, but they’re happy nonetheless.

    It has been a long and tricky leg, they’ve made it to Abu Dhabi safely and on the podium, and their local sailor Adil Khalid is frantically waving the United Arab Emirates flag.

    “It’s a proud moment for us – we’re making our families proud and making our country proud,” he says.

    “It was such an amazing leg, sailing in the Indian Ocean, in the Gulf… You cannot describe these things.”

    In fact, it is difficult to describe this leg, all the way from Cape Town to the Emirates.

    “A pretty tough one really, much more of a mystery than the first leg,” confirms navigator Simon Fisher, looking slightly disappointed, but very relieved.

    “We were trying to figure things out, and we’re still happy than we made most of the decisions right. It wasn’t perfect because we’re coming in third and not first, but we’re happy.”

    It was definitely a happy team who crossed the line at 11:08:15 UTC before docking in.
    “If you make a podium, you can have a reasonable smile on your face,” grins Ian.

    The British skipper did want more, but it hasn’t been a smooth leg for the Azzam crew.

    They sailed pretty much on their own and didn’t manage to overtake Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team in the final days, despite a close fight. They even caught a crab pot on the keel today, only couple of miles from the finish line.

    “I’ve got mixed feelings really,” adds Ian. “We wanted to win this leg. Two days ago, we were ahead of Dongfeng, and we were back into it last night again but we’ve never been close enough to make it.

    “But look, we’re in third place, people are in good shape, the boat is in one piece. This is a very long race. We’ve had two great results, first and third, and we’ll just keep chipping away.”

    Fresh dates are presented to them, and mint tea too. He smiles.
    “We’re very pleased, and looking forward to a fantastic three weeks.”
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