Volvo Ocean Race: So much for that

While the Volvo Ocean Race enjoyed a near photo finish yesterday between Leg 7 winner Team Brunel and second-placed Dongfeng Race Team, the cameras have all been put away as the remaining fleet crawls north in light and fickle winds.

Simeon Tienpont’s AkzoNobel crew are more than nearly 400 miles ahead of closest rivals Turn the Tide on Plastic, practically guaranteeing them third place provided they don’t suffer any mishaps in the final hours. Their ETA is tomorrow between 0900 and 1500 UTC.

With 200 miles between them, the race for fourth place between Plastic and MAPFRE race offers only slightly more intrigue. Both teams have suffered problems with their mast or rigging on this leg, while MAPFRE had the added setback of their mainsail tearing in two on the approach to Cape Horn.

By the time each team got back up to full pace, they were stuck in the clutches of the light winds generated by a high pressure system which is all but blocking their progress north. The current ETA for Plastic is on April 7 between 1200 and 0000 UTC, while MAPFRE are expected approximately 12 hours later.

Among the two retired teams, Vestas 11th Hour Racing has not offered any updates as they sort out mechanical problems in the Falkland Islands. However, Team SHK/Scallywag skipper David Witt reports that the race crew stepped off the boat in Chile and a delivery crew is taking it to Itajaí in hopes of making the start for Leg 8.

The upcoming schedule includes an In-Port Race in Itajaí on April 20 and the start of Leg 8 on April 22 to Newport, USA.

COURSE: Starting on March 18, Leg 7 takes the teams from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. Race organizers choose to estimate the tactical distance for each leg rather than list the actual distance, an unusual decision that’s revealed once the race starts and the tracker lists the actual distance to finish. The VOR says Leg 7 is 7600 nm whereas the truth is more like 6623 nm with an ETA in Itajaí between April 4 and 6.

For crew lists … click here.

Race details – Tracker – Scoreboard – Race route – Facebook – YouTube
Leg 7 – Position Report (19:02 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), Finished on Apr 3 at 14:45:18 UTC
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Finished on Apr 3 at 15:00:08 UTC
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 84.7 nm DTF
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 395.4 nm DTF
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 593.6 nm DTF
RET. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
RET. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; RET – Retired

Overall Results (after 6 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 39 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 34
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 23
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 20
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 12

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.

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