Scallywag takes the lead from MAPFRE

By | February 13, 2018

Sun hung Kai/Scallywag lead the race to Auckland. Photo: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race

Sun hung Kai/Scallywag has taken a slim lead in the Volvo Ocean Race, undercutting the rest of the fleet to get their nose in front.

The vessels are currently contesting leg six of the race – from Hong Kong to Auckland – in what was widely thought to be the most challenging leg of the event.

The majority of the fleet took a wide berth after travelling past Taiwan, Scallywag cut down earlier than their opponents to take a slim lead.

Team AzkoNobel held second place just 22km off the lead, with Turn the Tide on Plastic in third about 80km off the leaders.

MAPFRE, who were holding a slim lead on Monday, had dropped back to fifth place.

Scallywag turns the table with their massive gain of 32.4nm (DTF: 3,813.8nm) and taking the lead among the fleet!

Team AzkoNobel held second place just 22km off the lead, with Turn the Tide on Plastic in third about 80km off the leaders.

MAPFRE, who were holding a slim lead on Monday, had dropped back to fifth place.

However with the fleet over 6800km from reaching Auckland, it was still anyone’s race.

“It’s all to play for,” Scallywag’s John Fisher told volvooceanrace.com. “We saw that on the last leg coming the other way. You just have to pick your spot in the doldrums. The nav team is pretty happy with where we are and where we’re going. So I have every confidence in them.”

The fleet are approaching a vital point of the leg as they travel toward to doldrums.

The doldrums are a common term used by sailors to describe the areas five degrees north and south of the equator where the respective trade winds collide. Due to the heat of the area, the warm airs rise, causing persistent bands of showers and storms around the Earth’s midsection. There is often little surface wind in this area of the world, which can becalm ships.

In the race to Auckland, the fleet will encounter these about 1500km past the Philippines and 4000km from Auckland.

The vessels have been on the water for almost a week since leaving Hong Kong, but weren’t expected to arrive in Auckland until February 27 at this stage.

Sun hung Kai/Scallywag skipper David Witt is doused by a wave. Photo: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, had already arrived in Auckland to undergo repairs on a damaged hull.

The vessel sustained damage when it collided with a fishing boat in Hong Kong and was unable to be repaired before the leg to Auckland.

As a result, it was transported by a freight vessel ahead of the fleet to be repaired and ready to go when the fleet leaves Auckland next month.

The story is from The New Zealand Herald.