With the fleet approaching the latitudes of the Doldrums, speeds are expected to drop and indeed the leading boat, Dongfeng, was down to 12 knots of speed on the 13:00 UTC position report.
Boats just 10 miles further back were making closer to 20 knots. So a compression in the fleet is expected. But it may not be as severe as it often is. This Doldrums crossing is forecast to be relatively quick. Good news for the leading pack with the boats grouped so close together.
“There is still so much to go in this leg. We are 10 miles behind Dongfeng and we have Vestas and AkzoNobel right behind us… it’s nothing,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. “We would like to keep the distance close. Everyone is happy and we know we have a hard fight with these guys.”
“We are in a tough part of the race, I think. It’s been just about speed for about three days,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “Life is not easy on board. It’s very wet and warm and it’s going to be like this for a few days.”
But the weather is providing some relief. The strong rain showers are not just an opportunity to cool off, but also to get a fresh water shower. A luxury that doesn’t happen very frequently on a 20-plus day leg.
Leg 2 – Position Report – Saturday 11 November (Day 7) – 13:00 UTC
- Dongfeng Race Team — distance to finish – 4,093.7 nautical miles
- MAPFRE +9.8
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing +11.9
- team AkzoNobel +25.0
- Team Brunel +30.2
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +88.7
- Turn the Tide on Plastic +115.2
WHY? It is a little known fact that Port Elizabeth has been approached TWICE to bid on becoming a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race – the first attempt was stopped by our local Port Authorities and we await the outcome of the second. The home of Volvo Cars is Gothenburg – the second-largest city in Sweden which is twinned with Nelson Mandela Bay and which has provided incredible support and promotion for our Metropole.
MyPE is running a series of articles about the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race to: 1. Acknowledge and thank Gothenburg for their support, 2. Showcase a sport that Alan Straton is passionate about, 3. Demonstrate to citizens of Port Elizabeth just how much exposure a city like Cape Town receives from the VOR and 4. As a gentle reminder to the TNPA and our city of the great value that such an event can bring to our city.
The start city of the VOR – Alicante, Spain – estimates the economic value of each leg to be R960 Million. Click here to read very Volvo Ocean Race published on MyPE.
The local Algoa Bay Yacht Club has hosted many international sailing regattas, the most recent being the 60th 5O5 World Championships and, along with requests from the Volvo Ocean Race, have also recently been asked to host the 2019 stopover for the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.