On pace – Scallywag leading the fleet towards home in Hong Kong

On pace – Scallywag leading the fleet towards home in Hong Kong

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111265© Amory Ross/Volvo Ocean Race

Following one of the longest and most painful doldrums crossings in memory, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is now in the northeast trade winds and speeding towards the finish line in Hong Kong, some 2,700 nautical miles to the northwest.

The fleet finds itself in three distinct groupings, with Dongfeng Race Team leading team AkzoNobel and Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the northernmost triumvirate. And it’s in the north where the stronger winds should be as the northeasterly trades winds get established.

© Martin Keruzore/Volvo Ocean Race

“I think we are in a strong position,” said Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier. “We have just left the doldrums and we should be the first ones to catch the trade winds… we hope.

“We are very close on the ranking with Scallywag but we prefer our position for the future.”

While that northern option may turn out to be the correct one, at the moment, it’s David Witt’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag who are stealing a march on the opposition.

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

Contrary to many weather routing predictions, Witt and his crew have managed to craftily cut the corner, turning west before the rest of the fleet and gaining valuable miles towards the finish.

“The weather has helped us for sure,” Witt said. “It’s a balance between making decisions based on what the weather files tell you and what you can see in front of you…

“Anything can happen, it’s a pretty volatile situation still, but I’m pretty sure this group of people can deal with whatever happens.”

The Scallywags make up the middle grouping on their own, with MAPFRE leading Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel in the final triad, some 150 nautical miles directly east (and further from the finish line) compared to Scallywag.

For the trailing group, it’s been 24 hours of immense frustration. One final cloud in the doldrums grabbed these three and wouldn’t let go, while the other four were speeding away.

© Brian Carlin/Volvo Ocean Race

“We thought we’d be fighting at the front and now we’re fighting at the back which is not where we wanted to be,” said Dee Caffari, the skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic. “Really disappointed. But we have nearly 3000 miles left to make it up.”


Leg 4 – Position Report – Saturday 13 January (Day 12) – 13:00 UTC

 
Leg 4

Melbourne to Hong Kong 13 January 2018
Positions at: 13:00 UTC
DTL nm
GAIN_LOSS
STATUS
SPEED kt
COURSE
TWS kt
TWD
DTF nm
1
SHKS
0.00
0.31
RAC
15.0
313º
14.5
67º
2652.07
2
DFRT
17.01

17.01
RAC
16.3
300º
16.0
64º
2669.08
3
VS11
19.68

14.90
RAC
17.0
295º
17.2
67º
2671.75
4
AKZO
27.00

22.12
RAC
17.4
305º
16.5
53º
2679.07
5
MAPF
124.50

31.33
RAC
12.8
292º
13.8
51º
2776.57
6
TTOP
139.19

32.34
RAC
9.2
313º
7.2
55º
2791.26
7
TBRU
141.24

33.75
RAC
8.8
318º
6.0
52º
2793.31

Sailing

via The Volvo Ocean Race Official News http://ift.tt/1uwzSiz

January 14, 2018 at 01:12AM