Toeing the line


It's team AkzoNobel who have pushed forward overnight (UTC) to take a near 10-mile lead over MAPFRE, Dongfeng Race Team and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, with Team Brunel a further five miles behind. 

© Ugo Fonolla/Volvo Ocean Race

AkzoNobel is slightly further north compared to the chasing group who are skirting the Ice Exclusion Zone, which for this part of the leg is set just south of 53-degrees south latitude.

"We are all the way south, as far as we allowed," wrote skipper Simeon Tienpont. "Cruising along the ice fence along and heading quickly east.

"Water is as cold as in Holland on an autumn day but the sun is shining like the Mediterranean :) making it beautifull sailing conditions! Nicolai and myself are feeling at home and comfortable. Martine is less happy with the cold conditions and already got every thermal layer on... Mood is good and everyone is working hard for each other."

It's paying off with team AkzoNobel gaining about 15 miles on most of the fleet over the past 24 hours.

Further back, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Scallywag have dropped some miles, with Scallywag the only boat not to push all the way south, taking up a line approximately 40 miles north of the exclusion zone and the bulk of the fleet. 

Turn the Tide on Plastic meanwhile has dropped nearly one mile per hour over the past day to the main pack.

"A disappointing night for us. We had lovely conditions and had some great sailing but learned at the position report we had been slow compared to the rest of the fleet. That is frustrating," confirmed skipper Dee Caffari.

While all of this is happening, the sailors are preparing for stronger winds forecast for the weekend.

"We're going to see a low pressure system in two or three days with winds of 35 to 40 knots at times," said MAPFRE navigator Juan Vila. 

"We anticiipate a few maneouvers to keep us close to the ice limit, especially at the beginning when the wind is still light, but as the wind increases, we want to be close, but the wind looks like it will be more even from north/south then."

If the wind is strong from north to south, it will reduce the incentive for the fleet to keep gybying along the ice exclusion zone in the strongest conditions, reducing the risk of damage. This is one to watch as the weather conditions deteriorate over the coming days.

I commenti sono chiusi.