The Volvo Ocean Race fleet had a slow start to Leg 10 as a high-pressure system brought bright sunny skies and warm weather but very little breeze to Cardiff this afternoon.
With nearly no wind at the scheduled 1500 UTC start time, the Race Committee pushed a short postponement to allow the tide to turn, so the strong tidal flow would assist in pushing the fleet out to sea.
The inshore portion of the race start was also cancelled in an effort to get the fleet out of the Bristol Channel before the tide turned again this evening and the boats would have to fight the current to clear the channel.
In very little wind but with the current pushing the fleet, the Spanish team MAPFRE led across the starting line in a slow motion ballet, with Team Brunel, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team alongside them.
SHK/Scallywag found themselves too close to the start line, and as they manoeuvred to get room to start on time, Scallywag fouled Turn the Tide on Plastic. Both teams were soon far behind, one struggling to recover while the other offloading a penalty turn.
Leg 10 is a 1,300 nautical mile sprint – at least it will be once the wind picks up – from Cardiff to Gothenburg, Sweden.
The results of this leg could be critical in determining the overall winner. Skipper Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team leads MAPFRE by just one point, with Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel a further two points adrift.
After MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing gained an early edge, with Dongfeng falling well off the pace, the order went inside out as the fleet entered Bristol Channel. With the top teams hugging the shore, the three buffalo gals – Dongfeng, Plastic, and Scallywag – “went round the outside” and into the lead.
Leg 10 – Position Report (19:19 UTC)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 1282.7nm DTF
2. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 1.9nm DTL
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 2.3nm DTL
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 2.4nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 2.4nm DTL
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 3.7nm DTL
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 4.0nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead
Starting June 10, Leg 10 is a 1,300-nautical mile sprint from Cardiff, Wales that takes the teams around the west coast of Ireland up to the northern tip of Scotland before heading east-southeast to Gothenburg, the home of Volvo. The fleet is expected to finish by June 14 or 15.
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
• Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
• Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
• Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.
This story is from volvooceanrace.com